Monday, April 25, 2011

Globalization and disease

The importation of "new" animals/insects into a ecosystem is not new, (see the Columbian exchange). But it continues:

from the CDC:

To explore increased risk for human Rickettsia spp. infection in Germany, we investigated recreational areas and renatured brown coal surface-mining sites (also used for recreation) for the presence of spotted fever group rickettsiae in ticks. R. raoultii (56.7%), R. slovaca (13.3%), and R. helvetica (>13.4%) were detected in the respective tick species.

Heh. Clean up industrial sites and voila, more problems.

Rocky mountain spotted fever was common in our area of Oklahoma, so anyone with a "FUO" (Fever of unknown origin) was placed on Doxycycline or a similar antibiotic that would kill Rickettsia (and lyme disease). Usually the first blood test would be normal, and half the time the person never would come back just to get a second blood test (which usually would show if you had the disease).

If you wait until you get the rash, you are pretty sick.

Trivia question: How can you tell if it's RMSF or measles? Measles appears on the trunk and face first, RMSF starts on the arms and lower legs first.

The real problem is that if a person comes in with a fever in a non epidemic area, the docs might not even think of the disease...especially in Germany...

Related disease: Yes, black death (or some of the epidemics) was bubonic plague, probably from Asia (some claim the Gobi desert).

It spread via trade from China to India and then to Europe.

copyright © 2003 Melissa Snell.

and then we have this:
Grand Canyon National Park Ecosystem Threatened by Kazakhstan Beetle?

The scientists introduced the beetle to kill the invasive tamarisk trees, which were imported long ago for stablizing soil along rivers and to plant in back yards.

but the beetles are killing too many of the trees, and endanger the wildlife that has had 200 years to get used to living on and with the tamarisk.

No comments: