Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Yuk-tropical diseases moving north
…Writing in the NYT on Dec 23, 2007, Elisabeth Rosenthal talks about a little village of 2,000 in Italy suddenly beset by a disease featuring high fevers and excruciating bone pain. People thought they were dying. A hundred people got it.
…People were so sick they could not stand or feed themselves.
…Doctors were stumped and the people started blaming water pollution and immigrants.
(Seriously, we have to watch this immigrant blaming deal, it’s getting out of hand.)
…Finally, someone discovered this was a tropical disease called chikungunya.
…No—HA hadn’t either!
…And the “immigrants” had six legs. It’s a virus spread by mosquitoes.
…To be specific, the tiger mosquito seems to be finding Europe a warm, atttractive place.
…Now, the charming fountains in the city’s gardens have been replaced with mosquito traps.
…Some sufferers still have arthritis pain from the disease. And summer is coming again.
…What’s next—malaria in New York?
…Al Gore, call your service. Pronto.