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(NBC News)   Poisonous snakes may harbor virus. Snakes have farking germ warfare now?   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, Tropical Medicine, snakes, permanent brain, blood meals, West Nile virus, migrating birds, rattlesnakes, biological warfares  
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744 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Oct 2012 at 8:08 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-10-02 08:27:55 AM  
In before "I didn't realize politicians used germ warfare now"
2012-10-02 09:08:14 AM  
Venomous snakes, subby.
2012-10-02 09:26:13 AM  

95BV5: Venomous snakes, subby.

With the virus, poisonous fits too.
2012-10-02 09:46:17 AM  
Does it matter if they're venomous, poisonous or virus laden.

They're freaking SNAKES!
2012-10-02 11:19:21 AM  
But it's not snakes that give it to people, it's the mosquitos that bite the snakes. Mosquitos bite snakes? Is there anything those bugs can't do?

On the other hand I'm fighting bedbugs at my new apartment. (Either they were here or I picked them up since moving here.) The bugs don't bother me much, if they've been biting me I never notice or react, I've seen less than a dozen of them over the past three weeks and the experts say they don't transmit diseases to humans anyway. But they remain A Problem. The goal is to kill them, or keep them down to a minimum, or at least keep them from spreading to the ex's house when I go visit the pets (that I can't afford the pet fees for); that latter part, keeping them from spreading there, that matters because her new boyfriend is absolutely bugshiat terrified of bedbugs.

He doesn't lose sleep over mosquitos, flies, fleas, cockroaches and lice. Especially mosquitos, which carry dozens of fatal infections and which think I'm very tasty and whose bites itch me so bad it hurts. But this guy, the worry that she might have a bedbug in her bed or on her clothes has kept him from farking her for almost a month now: he won't even ride in her car or let her in his. He could have her bag all her clothes as soon as she gets to his place, jump in the shower to wash off any skin-crawlers and then hop right in his bed, but if I've thought of it she surely has and it won't wash.

There's nothing wrong with the ex's body or looks: the biatch is 39 but with face of a 30 year old and a body that hasn't changed since she was all hot at 27. (It's no wonder she traded my ugly old ass in.) Bedbugs. Which he's never been bitten by or seen, it's just the idea. Not mosquitos or fleas, that carry all kinds of germs, but the slim threat of bedbugs keep this guy from getting laid. What a moran.

And of her neighbors is terrified by the idea of these cute harmless little garter snakes we have here. When the ex's cat brings one in to play with it's the snake I'm worried for, and AFAIK garter snakes don't harbor human diseases either. I hope that lady never sees an article about any snakes carrying anything, she'll have a frigging stroke.

Next thing we'll read about garter snakes spreading bedbugs. Then the sky will fall.

2012-10-02 07:40:35 PM  
Quoth Indy Jones: Snakes...why did it have to be snakes?

On one hand, this is actually good news, because it will make EEE control efforts (and particularly mosquito control efforts) in a sense, it's pretty neat that they found the natural reservoir of EEE is actually a snake (which is actually fairly unusual--you do see bacterial infections we can catch from lepidiosaurs, but it's pretty uncommon for a disease in humans to have a lepidiosaur reservoir...salmonella is really the only biggie otherwise).

On the other hand...the natural reservoir is water moccasins and copperheads, which are the two most common venomous snakes in Kentucky (yes, there are timber rattlers but those mostly stick to wooded areas especially up in eastern KY)...and copperheads do have this distressing habit of setting up camp in suburbs near wooded areas and water moccasins do like wooded areas with rivers and creeks. (Have family land near a smaller river, and we have found the occasional copperhead and water moccasin in the latrine. Not fun)
2012-10-02 08:01:25 PM  
And now that I've had my five seconds of "goddamn water moccasins and copperheads" (can't really blame them, they were there first and outhouses are nice and warm places for snakes to rest, but I'd prefer not being bit in the bum and snakes don't really understand the concept of timesharing)...

I now wonder if carrying EEE is something restricted to agkistrodontine pit vipers (the cottonmouth/water moccasin and copperhead being the two primary species of concern to humans, both being Agkistrodon species and about as related as brown bears and polar bears are to each other--in fact, young water moccasins do look a hell of a lot like copperheads) or if it could be common to crotalines (pit vipers, and more specifically the clade of pit vipers that includes the rattlesnakes, "moccasins" including copperheads and water moccasins, and a few other snakes like lanceheads and the like).

If EEE could be carried by crotalines in general (as opposed to just agkistrodonts) this could actually present a bit of a public health concern, because the third "biggie" of venomous crotalines in the US (rattlesnakes of various species) are hunted--not just for food but skins and (in the case of certain Appalachian Church of God (Cleveland, TN) derivatives) religious worship. If rattlesnakes can carry EEE, one might have to take precautions in butchering them in "snake roundups"--and it might be a general discouragement towards "roundups" in general.

/not so much a risk here in KY as timber rattlers are technically threatened, thinking more in Texas et al
//more than happy to leave even the "hot" snakes alone as long as they aren't a risk to me and mine--and I'll even encourage the non-hot beneficial snakes like corn snakes and rat snakes and garter snakes
2012-10-05 02:37:57 PM  
Snakes have germ warfare now? Looks like the Spiders will need to get their Manhatten Project rolling!
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