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mr-absentia

What new viruses are emerging in your backyard?

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from nprglobalhealth.tumblr.com (via we-are-star-stuff):

If you’re a germaphobe, make sure you’re sitting down.

Back in 1999, a woman in California cleaned up rodent droppings in her home. Two weeks later, her liver started failing. Then she started to bleed internally — a hemorrhagic fever that would kill her. Eventually doctors found a new virus in her body, which very likely came from a rat.

A few years later, a man in Arizona went to the hospital. The skin on his legs was infected and dying. Doctors had to amputate. His diagnosis? A new kind of leprosy.

Over in the Midwest, the problem has been new tick-borne diseases, some deadly. And in New England, doctors are dealing with a disease that causes Lyme-like symptoms but is caused by a different bacteria.

The pattern continues across the country and across the world. A spike in new infectious diseases is the new normal.

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