Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Get a flu shot, Bucky

I think I spent the longest 5 minutes of my life at work this afternoon. It was like being back in grade school, where you stare at the clock trying to force the hands to move so you can make your escape. I would have sworn I had been editing a paper on influenza killing badgers and ferrets for several hours. . . checked the clock, and I don't think the time had changed at all.

On the bright side, who would have guessed that badgers would be susceptible to influenza A? The list of species that either carry influenza A strains or are susceptible to them keeps growing. It's like each time a paper comes out saying "Influenza in giant anteater" or "Influenza in Canadian skunks" another set of researchers looks around for some other mammal with a cough and says, We can top that. Let's check that beast out.  And, lo and behold, influenza A in dogs, cats, ferrets (both domestic and black-footed), bearcats, badgers, and more. 

And, just in case you're wondering how someone got close enough to a skunk to hear it coughing, the fine furry friends were being raised on a "mink" ranch. 


  1. I don't think I've seen a badger for thirty years, and I don't think there are any skunks in this area either.

    Well, there's some skunks but not the little furry ones.

  2. That's very interesting. Is there any evidence where the virus "jumped" from? As in, can it yet be told whether the virus is common to mustelids (I think that's the family weasels and badgers are in), or did it come from another specie?

  3. Casey, human to animal is the guess with the badger. He was a zoo resident, and when the giant anteaters at the Knoxville Zoo had influenza A a couple years ago, they caught it from zoo personnel.

  4. Trump dangles potential 2012 bid before CPAC

    Just when I thought things couldn't get anymore weird, they did.


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