Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Black Death Discovered In Oregon

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the oregon-the-euthanasia-state dept.

Medicine 404

redletterdave writes "The Black Death, a strain of bubonic plague that destroyed nearly a third of Europe's entire population between 1347 and 1369, has been found in Oregon. Health officials in Portland have confirmed that a man contracted the plague after getting bitten by a cat. The unidentified man, who is currently in his 50s, had tried to pry a dead mouse from a stray cat's mouth on June 2 when the cat attacked him. Days later, fever and sickness drove the man to check himself into Oregon's St. Charles Medical Center, where he is currently in 'critical condition.'"

cancel ×

404 comments

Darwin in action. (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345755)

Why the hell did he think it was a good idea to try to get the dead mouse away from the cat in the first place?

Re:Darwin in action. (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345803)

It really wasn't a dead mouse. It was a bag of pot he hid under a bush so his wife wouldn't find it. You can't really tell that to the folks at the hospital.

Re:Darwin in action. (5, Funny)

Pi Is A Rational (1106177) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345957)

[citation needed]

Re:Darwin in action. (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345999)

Swoosh !

Re:Darwin in action. (1, Funny)

Pi Is A Rational (1106177) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346017)

Got opwned, pwnage, etc.. Trolls trolling trolls is becoming tough these days.

Re:Darwin in action. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346437)

Except the appropriate onomatopoeia is woosh. A swoosh is the symbol on Nike gear.

Re:Darwin in action. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346265)

Pot doesn't carry the plague, it just makes people retarded.

Re:Darwin in action. (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346391)

That's just like your opinion, man.

Re:Darwin in action. (1, Insightful)

Mannfred (2543170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345835)

Frankly, a man in his 50s is less likely to produce new offspring so the accident is unlikely to be of tangible benefit to the gene pool.

Re:Darwin in action. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345847)

Frankly, your comment is typical of someone with a 2 million SDID.

Re:Darwin in action. (2, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345981)

Evolution isn't just about having babies you know. If that were the case, all men would have evolved condom breaking mechanisms already. [smbc-comics.com]

Re:Darwin in action. (2, Insightful)

eqisow (877574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346029)

Yes, because condoms have totally been around for an evolutionarily significant period of time.

Re:Darwin in action. (1, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346375)

How insightful of you. I bet you knew that right out of your ass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_condoms [wikipedia.org] (yes, five hundred years IS evolutionarily significant, although perhaps not enough so for us to all grow teeth on our penises)

Re:Darwin in action. (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346267)

I don't see condom breaking penises happening - the species continues to propagate and there is no stress factor forcing such a change with condoms at a cellular level (testicles say yay, we're used, babies formed without a condom or with a broken condom only know success and not about failures and unless brain knowledge factors into evolution, which I seriously doubt or all men would have evolved a penis at least 12 inches long and 2 inches thick that can continuously ejaculate by now and women would never have to fake an orgasm because they would always orgasm, cell knowledge is all it has to go off of). Same thing with certain female birth control like the diaphragm. Progesterone as birth control, on the other hand, I could see as a potential stress factor. Without a stress factor, there really is no reason for an evolutionary mutation.

Re:Darwin in action. (2)

Xenx (2211586) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346333)

I'm slightly dismayed to not find crude references to already doing so through superior virility.

Hardly darwin award worthy... he is in his 50s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345845)

I think he probably has already had all the children he intends to have, with or without the plague.

Re:Darwin in action. (1, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345869)

It might also be connected with the related news item:

"Growing Evidence of Football Causing Brain Damage"

Re:Darwin in action. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345937)

Because it could be a weakened mouse that has eaten rat poison, and then the cat dies if not treated with vitamin K to stop the internal hemorrhage.
I've lost several cats because of this issue.

Re:Darwin in action. (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346255)

The summary specifies it was a stray cat. Who the hell tries to pry open the mouth of a stray cat? You have no idea what kinds of bacteria, viruses, or other nasty infectious things are living in a stray cat's mouth.

Although we certainly know now.

2012 strikes again (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345759)

2012 strikes again.... Anyone else notice that alot of items such as this one are happening again?

Re:2012 strikes again (5, Interesting)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345849)

No, must be confirmation bias on your part.

Black Plague is rare, but still happens you just usually don't hear about it because it's treatable with antibiotics and preventable by controlling rodent populations - neither antibiotic treatment nor effective prevention were known in europe during the middle ages.

Re:2012 strikes again (4, Funny)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345955)

Wrong, it's a new zombie strain, carried by rodents and cats from Japan; I suspect it is entirely distinct from the zombie strain seen in Florida, originating in Cuba.

Re:2012 strikes again (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346179)

Wrong, it's a new zombie strain, carried by rodents and cats from Japan; I suspect it is entirely distinct from the zombie strain seen in Florida, originating in Cuba.

You may [oregonlive.com] be on to something:

Portland police shorten hours at Laurelhurst Park after reports of group of teen boys attacking others

Re:2012 strikes again (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345965)

A professor once told us, "It's around, and yes, occasionally kills someone. You just see, 'person died of severe bacterial infection'."

Not a big deal. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345979)

Exactly this. In the Southwestern US there is a case of plague every couple of years. Not a big deal unless it isn't diagnosed and treated rapidly. It probably shows up in other areas of the world as well.

Re:2012 strikes again (1, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346313)

neither antibiotic treatment nor effective prevention were known in europe during the middle ages.

Neither were there pervasive antibiotic resistant bacteria. Today it is "treatable with antibiotics"; but we cannot rely on there not being new strains that are resistant to antibiotics.

Re:2012 strikes again (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346039)

Yeah plague isn't really uncommon, there are still areas of Russia and Africa and other countries [citation needed] where plague is still a problem, mostly for livestock.

It wont really turn into the black death again, since we now have stuff like proper hygiene and antibiotics. Of course it could have been one of those super plagues the Soviets were designing [wikipedia.org] that somehow got out, if that was the case commence you panicking now.

Re:2012 strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346075)

meh oregon is a weird place you should see eugene

stupid (4, Informative)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345763)

Maybe you shouldn't be screwing around with wild animals and their food . . .

Re:stupid (0, Flamebait)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345899)

The article says it was a cat. Cats, by definition, are not wild. Some of them may be feral, but they are never wild.

Re:stupid (4, Insightful)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345967)

Oh we want to play the definition game, huh? Well then, by definition (Dictionary.com), feral means

1) existing in a natural state, as animals or plants; not domesticated or cultivated; wild.

2) having reverted to the wild state, as from domestication.

3) of or characteristic of wild animals; ferocious; brutal.

All three definitions equate feral with being wild, so what was the point of your pedantic nitpicking again?

Re:stupid (3, Insightful)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346097)

he's bored?

Re:stupid (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345969)

Have you ever seen a domesticated tiger? What about a domesticated fox [wikipedia.org] ?

The difference between is mostly just a few generations of human attention. There are some more gradual changes (and numerous abrupt physical changes) at work in dogs, which creates the gap between 'feral' and 'wild' for them, but the most important alterations are purely in how the animal has been raised. Barn cats have been selected for their ability to survive and hunt, after all, for most of history. Not very pet-like traits.

Re:stupid (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346037)

The other important difference is geography. Yes, there are wild cats that are pretty close to our domesticated cats, but they don't live in Oregon, they live in Europe; in Oregon, or Australia, they'd be considered an "invasive species".

Barn cats aren't wild either, because barns aren't natural habitats in the least. Cows aren't "wild animals" either, but they don't live inside with people either, they live on farms (which frequently also have barns, though cows don't normally live there, but horses do, and again aren't wild).

Re:stupid (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346341)

I don't think geography is that important. An invasive species would continue acting like it used to if it were transported home, after all.

The trick with barn cats is that our relationship with them isn't nearly as exploitative as it is with, say, cows. For thousands of years, humans' relationship to cats was nothing more than "I will feed and shelter you just for existing (and eating mice), as long as you remain in the vicinity of my home." We never really asked them to change their instincts, and we barely control their reproduction; we just plug in to their minds as some kind of vaguely-defined maternal figure, and they're saved the trouble of finding somewhere new to hide during the day. Stray cats are pretty much completely unmodified, and even have all of the natural territorial habits found in the sand cat [wikipedia.org] .

Have you ever seen a fancier's pedigree cat, like a Japanese bobtail [wikipedia.org] ? They're a perfect example of the difference between the average feline and the results of the pet typical domestication process. They're much more sociable, and essentially incapable of surviving as a feral species. In fact I would argue that an animal's ability to revert to feral behaviour in only a generation or two pretty much defines whether or not it's truly domesticated, because otherwise it's (probably) just a transient behavioural change. By this definition, humans may not be fully domesticated either [wikipedia.org] .

Re:stupid (4, Insightful)

shadesOG (2457562) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346021)

The article says it was a cat. Cats, by definition, are not wild. Some of them may be feral, but they are never wild.

Apparently you don't live in Oregon. We have wild cats. We call them cougars or mountain lions and they can fuck your day up. They have been getting a bad rep for pouncing on mountain bikers. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/cougar/ [state.or.us]

Re:stupid (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346327)

Usually, when someone says "cat", they mean felis domesticus, not a mountain lion (same thing as cougar). If they meant a mountain lion, they would have specified that.

Besides, what kind of moron would try to get a dead mouse (or anything for that matter) away from a mountain lion? Obviously, this case was about a housecat.

Finally, I live in Arizona. We have mountain lions here too, though not generally in the city. Mountain lions live all over the western US, they're not unique to Oregon. I think they had some problems with them pouncing on bicyclists in southern California too a while back.

Re:stupid (1)

maharvey (785540) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346337)

Also lynx and bobcats, which are definitely wild.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346449)

And goats, which are not cats at all.

Prying dead mice from feral cats mouths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345767)

At least he got the payoff of a free dead mouse. I'm sure it was worth it in the end.

Bring out your dead! (5, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345773)

While an exciting headline, certain to raise the blood pressure of the angst brigade, this isn't terribly newsworthy. Bubonic plague has been found in animals (mostly prairie dogs in Colorado) for decades and apparently is the sixth case of plague in Oregon since 1995. It's easy to treat with antibiotics. The hardest part is actually thinking that Yersinia pestis is the causative organism.

Bonus points for Monty Python addicts.

Re:Bring out your dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345805)

Unsurprisingly, the diseases that killed us forever ago aren't really a threat to us anymore. It's the superdiseases of the future we need to worry about.

Re:Bring out your dead! (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346015)

Rare, but still around. House MD had a case that turned out to be the Black Death caught from an adopted pet from Arizona about five years ago. Even rarer than lupus, and as you all know, "It's never lupus!"

Re:Bring out your dead! (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346083)

Bubonic plague has been found in animals (mostly prairie dogs in Colorado) for decades and apparently is the sixth case of plague in Oregon since 1995.

From TFA:

Health officials in Portland have confirmed that a man contracted the plague...

Hmm... I KNEW there was something that the Portlandia folks left out when they said, "The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland...." [youtube.com]

Clown school, double-decker bicycles, and of course... bubonic plague.

(P.S. Yes, I know this case of plague didn't originate in Portland... but neither did clown school, and clowning is apparently still going on there. Elsewhere, plague is so 1390s...)

Re:Bring out your dead! (2)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346115)

How sure are they it's the same?

Seem legit:
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/352856/20120615/octomom-2-woman-pregnant-mouth-eating-squid.htm [ibtimes.com]
"'Octomom' 2.0? Woman Gets 'Pregnant In The Mouth' After Eating Squid
By Dave Smith: Subscribe to Dave's RSS feed
June 15, 2012 5:01 PM EDT
A 63-year-old South Korean woman was shocked to learn she "became pregnant" with 12 baby squid after eating a portion of calamari."

Seem too good to be true, but it probably is.

Re:Bring out your dead! (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346239)

Yeah, it's pretty common throughout the western US (at least). Several years ago, some friends and I went camping at a California State Park, and were perplexed to see signs posted saying that there was risk of bubonic plague. We asked a ranger, who basically told us it was no big deal, and not all that unusual. They weren't even bothing to send campers home. It did make the night feel a little spookier, somehow. :)

Calling it "The Black Death" in this day and age borders on histrionics (though I admit it's historically accurate).

Re:Bring out your dead! (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346355)

Human infections are relatively rare, but yeah, I've heard of other cases as well. Certainly not the killer it once was, much like tetanus, which many people still think can only be contracted from rusty nails, while the bacterium is dirt dwelling and can be contrived from any puncture wound. Heck, people have contracted it from dirty heroin needles.

Re:Bring out your dead! (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346379)

It is only easy to treat if it's been caught early which it typically is. This poor guy waited a little too long.

Not so fast, Mr. Simpson... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345777)

It has become customary to give returning employees the plague...

Um sir? Don't you mean the plaque?

Yes, the plaque!

One good thing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345783)

at least the cat will die.

Biggest question... (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345787)

Why was this guy trying to pry a mouse away from a cat? That appears to be the most interesting story here...

Really though, from TFA:

it is treatable with antibiotics

the bacteria thrives in forests, grasslands and any wooded areas inhabited by rats and squirrels

Without the help of modern medicine, Europeans in the Middle Ages could do little to combat the plague.

So this is a bacterium that is common in the wild, which can be contracted by humans but is treatable with modern medicine. It is not as though we are facing another plague here...

Re:Biggest question... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345963)

Good thing that bacteria cant become resistant to antibiotics, right?

captcha: evasion

Re:Biggest question... (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346245)

Good thing that bacteria cant become resistant to antibiotics, right?

Bacteria that spread from human to human can evolve antibiotic resistance relatively quickly. Bacteria that spread primarily from animal to animal, especially if those animals are wild, are much less likely to evolve resistance. I don't think we are going to start giving antibiotics to prairie dogs.

 

Re:Biggest question... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346343)

No, we just give antibiotics to our farm animals, then let them get hunted by the wild animals....

Re:Biggest question... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346445)

I don't think we are going to start giving antibiotics to prairie dogs.

Only because they are apparently not that tasty. If they were in a sandwich from McDonald's you would see farms of them with antibiotics in their food.

Re:Biggest question... (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346279)

Good thing that bacteria cant become resistant to antibiotics, right?

Sure, but there is more to keep in mind when it comes to this particular infection:

  1. Cleanliness slows the spread immensely, especially around areas where the bacteria live. One of the main reasons for the plague's spread in the middle ages was poor hygiene, as evidenced by the reduced rates of infection in communities where bathing and washing hands were common.
  2. We do not leave dead animal carcasses rotting in our streets. One of the ways this infection spreads is by fleas jumping from a dead animal to a live one.
  3. We have quarantine protocols for serious diseases, which help reduce contact between infected and uninfected people.

So even if by some strange twist, the plague were to develop resistance to antibiotics, it would be unlikely to become an epidemic. Indeed, only a tiny handful of people become infected in modern times, and that is despite the fact that we have much larger populations and higher population densities.

Re:Biggest question... (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346309)

You are right. Bacteria can't become resistant to antibiotics. What happened with MSSA and such is that the resistant strains already existed, and the widespread and often inappropriate usage of antibiotics killed of the other strains, making MSSA more common. But the antibiotics didn't "create" MSSA, and and the bacteria didn't "become" resistant, but had been that way for longer than we have records.

Re:Biggest question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345987)

But it could evolve, remember.

This is possibly the worst infection to evolve, if it were to get worse, god help the human race.
There is only a small number of humans who are outright immune to it, and a partial number who are strongly defended against it. It is unlikely that it will evolve a way to defeat the immune systems of those people, but everyone else...

We have better medicine, but we also live much closer together and have partially compromised immune systems due to the overly-sterile environments we live in and foods we consume. (which is, finally, now being shown to have actually done pretty damn serious damage overall, in addition to creating super-bugs all over the place)
This is also why that strain of H5N1 (was it?) is such a huge concern if it evolves in to the strain they created in the lab.
They say that it could easy evolve this way. Worse, it is easy to produce it that way as well with pretty easy to obtain equipment and any random biology expert.

Things like this need to be heavily monitored to make sure they don't get to lethal status.

Re:Biggest question... (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346339)

This is possibly the worst infection to evolve

Really, the worst? This is an infection that is not hard to control with quarantines, good hygiene and good sanitation -- none of which are a challenge in this century. It would be a pretty serious leap for the plague to evade all of the above.

We have better medicine

More importantly, we have better medical practices. Doctors wash their hands between seeing patients. Highly infectious patients are kept under special quarantines. Corpses are not handled without gloves. Medical instruments are carefully disposed of. These things are more relevant to the plague than antibiotics, which are just a treatment for those who become infected.

Re:Biggest question... (1)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346129)

Also:

there are about seven cases of the Black Plague in the U.S. each year

Re:Biggest question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346235)

Why was this guy trying to pry a mouse away from a cat?

Simple. He saw it first, but the cat was quicker...

That's some good eat'n ;)

The Plague (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345789)

This is not big news. The plague is harbored by squirrels and other rodents throughout the Rockies and the midwest. Lately it's been passing around the prairie dogs and killing the rare and nearly extinct American Black Footed Ferret.

Re:The Plague (4, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345819)

True, many of the hiking trails in New Mexico have signs warning that rodents may be carrying the plague. What surprises me, though, is the man is in critical condition. I thought the plague was easily treatable with antibiotics today. Is this a new antibiotic resistant strain?

Re:The Plague (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345853)

True, many of the hiking trails in New Mexico have signs warning that rodents may be carrying the plague. What surprises me, though, is the man is in critical condition. I thought the plague was easily treatable with antibiotics today. Is this a new antibiotic resistant strain?

Treatable when caught early.

Re:The Plague (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345919)

Yep, it was a 50-year-old men. People in that demographic are infamous for avoiding medical treatment until it's too late.

Re:The Plague (3, Interesting)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346147)

Yep, it was a 50-year-old men. People in that demographic are infamous for avoiding medical treatment until it's too late.

That is because by the time we are that old, we know that most doctors don't actually know as much as they think (meaning they tend to guess alot), and don't want to pay the high price for that.

Re:The Plague (3, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346321)

"I can survive with the Plague for another 15 years and get on medicare"

Re:The Plague (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346351)

Even back in the Ye Olden Days when the plague was rampant there was strains / variations that where a lot more virulent. If you caught the strain that was the one that rapidly progressed to septicemic plague you where toast in hours to 1-2 days.

Bring out yer dead! (2)

howardd21 (1001567) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345793)

Obligatory Monthy Python Reference http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grbSQ6O6kbs [youtube.com] "I'm not dead yet"

Re:Bring out yer dead! (1)

redneckmother (1664119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345983)

Obligatory Firesign Theatre reference: "According to my careful prosthesis, this man has - The Plague." (from Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him)

This is hardly news. (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345813)

Bubonic plague has been endemic (sustaining itself permanently, in this case in the animal population) in the western part of the US for years, although it is news to public health officials when a human contracts it. There was a case two years ago, also in Oregon.

The reason it doesn't sweep the nation the way it swept Europe is advances in hygiene, public health and medical treatment. Rats and fleas in the house aren't unheard of these days, but they're no longer universal. If people are getting bit by fleas they'll call the exterminator or the board of health; they won't just accept it as a fact of life. If they contract plague they'll go to the doctor who will cure it relatively easily.

Re:This is hardly news. (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345887)

Bubonic plague has been endemic (sustaining itself permanently, in this case in the animal population) in the western part of the US for yeas...

Yep. When I was in the US southwest in the 80's they were handing out phamplets at the national parks like the grand canyon(I think I have mine tucked away somewhere still--I was a kid and thought it was kinda cool) to avoid dead animals. This really isn't news, we see a dozen or so cases of it in Canada every year from the same way.

Re:This is hardly news. (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346053)

This really isn't news, we see a dozen or so cases of it in Canada every year from the same way.

I didn't realize it was a common thing for people to pry dead mice from the mouths of stray cats. ;)

Re:This is hardly news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346219)

I didn't realize it was a common thing for people to pry dead mice from the mouths of stray cats. ;)

That's how you make the Canadian delicacy poutine au rat.

Re:This is hardly news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346281)

In Eastern Oregon Bubonic Plague is so common in the wildlife that every couple of years the U.S. Forest Service will fire-bomb the entire desert, killing off every deer, gopher, squirrel, and rat when the infected wildlife population reaches a certain threshold percentage. It seems cruel to fire-bomb all wildlife in a geographical area and something that would normally have PETA up in arms over, but it's the humane choice and what keeps the Bubonic Plague in check and from commonly spreading to the human population. The first thing you learn living in Oregon are that deer, gophers, squirrels, and rats are vermin. You don't feed them. You don't touch them. They are carriers of disease, not cute Disney characters.

I think the only thing that is news-worthy about this article, being that Bubonic Plague, albeit relatively rare in humans due to monitoring the epidemic among the wildlife and periodically reducing the wildlife population when the epidemic spreads, is that this guy got it from a domestic cat. People might be willing to turn a blind eye to Bambi being fire-bombed into oblivion every 5-8 years, but they wouldn't be so willing to let Fluffy or Mr. Bigglesworth be put down to prevent the spread of contagion.

If I can catch it, I'll eat it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345825)

I agree with Darwinian Logic on this one. What could have made him think this was a good idea?
There is a possible 'Side-B' :) The posts states "unidentified man".
This could possibly mean he was homeless, no? Possibly making the dead mouse a "Tastey-dactil", and a target, like "taking candy from a baby", or in this case, taking black death from a cat. That's alot of possibles, but I'm sure it will be the last time he goes for "fast food".

Boo to story submitter (0)

adosch (1397357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345829)

"News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." Although I find stories of older men prying dead mice out of stray cats' mouths very riveting for about 2.5 seconds (which as already stated many times already, complete ODD), this isn't or should EVER be a slashdotted story. Ever. Period. Get back to the tech news, /.

Re:Boo to story submitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345931)

How is it that with a 1.3 million SDID you even think you have a right to bring up what Slashdot is "all about"?

Re:Boo to story submitter (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345959)

You forgot to add "and get off my lawn!"

Re:Boo to story submitter (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346261)

Well, I've got an SDID that is a thousand times smaller, and I agree with the OP. This is barely news, let alone news for nerds. The bubonic plague is not-uncommon among the west coast's rodent population, and is easily treatable, and there's nothing particularly nerdy going on here.

Time to get vaccinated (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345851)

Ive had mine in the army. I'm not worried

Re:Time to get vaccinated (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346423)

Ive had mine in the army. I'm not worried

Vaccination improves resistance in the aggregate over the entire population that receives vaccination; in other words there is less likelihood of an epidemic, but it is still very possible for normal individuals to catch the disease if exposed.

So you are at less risk, in case an outbreak of the most common strains the vaccine was designed against, but you would still be at significantly high risk in case of an epidemic, unless the rest of the population of people and animals you interact with (or rather, that fleas in your area interact with) were vaccinated as well.

Obligatory LOLcat ref (5, Funny)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345857)

I can has worldwide pandemic?

Re:Obligatory LOLcat ref (5, Informative)

equex (747231) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346311)

haz

Plague?!? (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345875)

that is all.

Oh wait, anyone else ever know that putting something like 'PPPPPLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAGUE?!?" as a comment subject produces a "filter error: Too much repetition". Isn't it reasonable to expect that a mature person who can operate a computer and engage in discussion groups well aware enough of what constitutes too much or too little repetition?

Because I can clearly say it in the message body, just not the subject. Yet, its exactly what I wanted the subject to be!

Re:Plague?!? (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345985)

It is reasonable to expect it, yes. But it is also reasonable to expect that the immature id10t's on this board will abuse the priviledge to post that sort of crud, so society here forbids it from being possible in the first place.

Re:Plague?!? (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346271)

And yet it happened anyhow, in one form or another. Is it too much to ask that I be allowed to use my own definition for excessive repetition? After all, I'm not trying to force it on someone else, yet someone elses definition of repetition is now forced on me, yet only in the comment subject area. Its sort of like saying "Yes, you can protest, but only in this small area over here where nobody can see you", isnt it?

Sensationalized article (2, Informative)

tirerim (1108567) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345923)

Yes, he contracted septicaemic plague, the blood-borne form of Yersinia pestis. That doesn't mean he contracted "the Black Death". The Black Death was almost certainly caused by a variant of Y. pestis which is no longer around (microorganisms tend to change a bit over the course of a few centuries). It's also the name of a specific pandemic of plague, and while there were other smaller outbreaks in the following centuries, they weren't generally referred to by that name. One human case of a disease that is now treatable with antibiotics and easy to contain does not make for a pandemic.

Black Death? no, epidemiology guesses Ebola like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40345949)

Modern research methods have studied the so called "Black Death" a great deal and we feel it was probably something most more akin to an Ebola-like virus than Bubonic Plague. From studies of incubation times and patterns to symptoms. There was a plague outbreak, but it was NOT the black death.

Re:Black Death? no, epidemiology guesses Ebola lik (4, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346069)

Actually, epidemiology is entirely unsure about the matter. [wikipedia.org] (Also, don't anthropomorphize inanimate objects, they hate it when you do that.)

Some people think it was the bubonic plague because that matches _some_ of the symptoms reported at the time and y. pestis has been found in mass graves from the period. (Obviously people who disagree are pulling out the "correlation does not equal causation" card.)

Other people believe it was ebola, anthrax, or something else because the incubation period, the rate and nature of the spread, and some of the symptoms don't match those of the modern bubonic plague.

Some people believe it was the y. pestis, but it behaved differently back then because humans had zero immunity when it was introduced, and both humans and the bacteria have had a few centuries to evolve since then.

And some people believe that it wasn't just one disease that was responsible for the black death but a number of different diseases sweeping through around the same time. They didn't know much about disease at the time, and if everyone has heard of the black death and a bunch of people get sick and die, everyone is going to blame it on the black death.

Re:Black Death? no, epidemiology guesses Ebola lik (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346155)

Also, as a bonus, Seanan McGuire has an amusing "teaching song" about the Black Death [seananmcguire.com] which briefly covers a lot of the objections to the y. pestis theory. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be one of the songs with a performance on YouTube, though you can hear a brief clip of it on CDBaby [cdbaby.com] .

Pretty Common Out West (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40345993)

They keep finding plague in the prairie dog colonies out here. They do a news story about it every couple years. It's not really anything to get worked up about, unless you're doing something you shouldn't have been doing in the first place. Like messing with stray cats. Or maybe letting your dog run around in the prairie dog fields...

Not surprising (1)

hattable (981637) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346001)

that the end of our civilization will start in Portland. Take a bath you hipsters!

Plauge huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346059)

Is the pope going to have to sit in a circle of burning torches to keep the demons away again?

Doctors aren't curing him (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346089)

They've taken bets on how many days he's going to stay alive.

Come on! The guy has no insurance!

bring out your dead! (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346139)

"I'm not dead!"

Re:bring out your dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346385)

"he says he's not dead!"

Obligatory South Park Referrence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346173)

People must be saying 'shit' too much. After all, it is a cursed word.

HERE IS HOW IT STARTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40346253)

The Zombie Apocalypse. It starts with a bite...

Non story (3, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40346397)

There are 1-2 cases of bubonic plague in the US every year. "Yersenia pestis" is part of the normal body flora of several animals, especially underneath the nails of the armadillo. Now when we see cipro resistant plague, then you can panic.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...