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Re: Mesozoic illnesses
Dora Smith writes:
There's diseases everywhere. As a rule, we're more at risk for diseases
that evolved among mammals, or at least that are closely related to current
diseases among mammals.
Humans have caught (and died from) psittacosis. Salmanella bacteria also
readily infect humans directly from birds.
Human influenza also tends to come to us from birds, via pigs. H5N1 (AKA
'bird flu') doesn't even need pigs as an intermediary - although for all we
know it may have re-infected birds after spending time in mammals (I seem to
remember a mass-culling of civet cats when they were found to have H5N1
antibodies). Once a virus jumps a species barrier, it is more likely to be
able to infect more species still. Here in Australia we've had people die
from a virus caught from horses (which in turn seem to have caught it from
As a general rule though, most viruses tend to be specific to certain animal
groups. Bacteria however tend to be more flexible, and fungi are rarely
picky at all.
GIS / Archaeologist geo cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia heretichides.soffiles.com