23 April 2009

Watch where you're mowing

We recently had a lecture on bioterrorism within our infectious diseases sequence. One of the potential diseases that could be used as a weapon is Tularemia, a not-too-deadily infection caused by Francisella tularensis. It has a low infective dose, does not spread human-human, but you would feel like crap for a while. The Soviets were accused of using it and the US even researched its use as a weapon in the '50s.

Anyway, what I think is much more interesting is the outbreak that occurred in Martha's Vineyard in 2000. The CDC documented cases of people getting sick from lawn-mowing. Apparently, they mowed over nests of infected rabbits, aerosolizing the infected rabbits and inhaling the bug. That's right. The people of Martha's vineyard got sick from aerosolized bunnies.

It was then published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

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