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Re: Mesozoic illnesses

On 10/21/07, David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:
> > If people in the future went back to dinosaur times, wouldn't they risk
> > catching Mesozoic diseases?
> Not very likely, because infection needs two: pathogens are adapted to more
> or less specific hosts. That's why you can't get foot-and-mouth disease, why
> only a few mammals and nothing else can get rabies, and why chimpanzees can
> be infected with HIV but don't get ill.
> > With the Mesozoic being hotter and muggier than today, the bacteria and
> > viruses (virii?) of the time must have been more vigorous than
> > contemporary pathogens,
> This does not follow at all. Heat and moisture just make survival outside of
> a host easier for pathogens. BTW, if Latin, then viri with a single i. A
> double i only happens when there's already an i in front of the -us or -um
> part.

In Latin, _virus_ is a neuter, so the plural would be _vira_, but
classically it was a mass noun (meaning slime or poison), with no
plural form at all.

(Nouns in -ium are normally also neuters, with plurals in -ia.)

Andreas Johansson

Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?