A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Showered lately?

Is anyone surprised at this?

Reuters: US finds fever bacteria during war protest weekend---

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Small amounts of a bacteria that causes "rabbit fever" were found on Washington's National Mall last weekend as thousands of protesters marched against the Iraq War, U.S. health authorities said on Saturday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said several government environmental air monitors in the Mall area detected low levels of Francisella tularensis bacteria that cause Tularemia, commonly known as rabbit fever, on September 24-25.

Public health agencies had no reports of any related human or animal illnesses caused by the bacteria.

The CDC said it issued an alert on Friday night as a precaution so medical personnel were aware of the situation and could report any suspected cases.

Rabbit fever can not be passed from person to person and can be effectively treated with readily available medicines, the CDC said. Symptoms usually appear 3 to 5 days after exposure, but in rare cases can take up to two weeks.

Symptoms of the disease, which an infected person would have begun experiencing no earlier than on Monday, include: sudden fever, chills, headaches, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough and progressive weakness.

District of Columbia health officials told local radio station WTOP on Saturday the detected bacteria was not harmful and probably occurred naturally.

The CDC waited a week to notify city officials of the detected bacteria because it took that long to test the samples at labs and confirm its presence, the radio station reported.

According to the CDC's Web site, people can get rabbit fever by:

* Being bitten by a infected tick, deerfly or other insect

* Handling infected animal carcasses

* Eating or drinking contaminated food or water

* Breathing in the bacteria

The CDC also said the bacteria can be used as a weapon if made into an aerosol that could be inhaled.
Really, if you look at some of the pictures of these "anti-war" protests, lots of people look as though they have no idea what bathing is.