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Old 02-14-2001, 07:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
DRM
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Post What we are up against...

This is a taste of what we are up against...
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From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Off-Roading May Spread Hantavirus

BY BRENT ISRAELSEN
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Rats!
Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) could cause the spread of the much-feared hantavirus.
New research suggests that dune buggies, motorcycles, Jeeps and all-terrain vehicles can disrupt and destroy rodent habitat, forcing mice and rats to live in close quarters. The result is an increased rate of transmission of hantavirus among and between species. That is the hypothesis, anyway, of a team of researchers led by University of Utah biology professor Denise Dearing.
"We are not sure there is a cause and effect here, but what's known about [habitat fragmentation] is that it might increase transmission and prevalence of this disease," Dearing said.
Communicated to humans through rodent feces and urine that become airborne in dust, usually in confined spaces such as sheds or garages, hantavirus has been diagnosed in 277 people in the United States, 38 percent of whom have died. Of the 17 confirmed hantavirus cases in Utah, five have been fatal. Dearing is seeking additional funding to investigate the possible role of OHVs in spreading the virus. If the initial findings are validated, it could add fuel to the already fiery debate over the exploding popularity of OHV recreation in the West.
Environmental groups are campaigning to restrict OHVs, arguing they devegetate the land, destroy wildlife habitat and cause erosion. The OHV-hantavirus hypothesis was born last year during research intended to investigate why wood rats near Tintic, about 40 miles southwest of Provo, were infected with the virus. The rats rarely carry hantavirus, which is most common in deer mice.
To find out why wood rats were infected, Dearing, U. biology student Rachel Mackelprang and University of Nevada-Reno virologist Stephen Jeor trapped rodents from rat middens in the West Tintic Mountains, near Little Sahara Recreation Area. The researchers found that deer mice had a 30 percent infection rate for hantavirus -- almost three times the rate for mice in other parts of the Great Basin. The researchers then wondered whether the landscape in and around Little Sahara, a popular area for OHVs, may be a factor. After reviewing existing research about habitat fragmentation, the Utah-Nevada team has turned its attention to OHVs.
"We propose that the high level of [hantavirus] prevalence could be due to disturbance by humans, primarily intensive use of all-terrain vehicles," wrote Mackelprang in an article accepted for Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Dearing's team does not suggest that the OHV-hantavirus theory presents an immediate threat to human health. "But if you have higher prevalence of hantavirus, you have higher chance of coming into contact with infected material," she said.</FONT c>

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<FONT COLOR="Blue">David
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No... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...</FONT c>
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Old 02-15-2001, 01:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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that is rediculous... don't they have anything better to dig up... call Orkin and have 'em all exterminated.

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Hmmm....maybe if you sharpened the Q-Tip...
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Old 02-15-2001, 01:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok... let's assume that off-road vehicles cause mice colonies to 'fragment' and spread hantavirus more quickly (yeah, right).

Why not ban the confined spaces where the <FONT COLOR="Red">rodent feces and urine that become airborne in dust</FONT c> where it is often communicated to humans. More people have garages than off-road vehicles, so it seems banning garages would be more effective.

Dumbasses.

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