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News from All Over the Place: Bamboo-Bonfire Calamities & Rabid Badgers — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 28, 2014

News from All Over the Place: Bamboo-Bonfire Calamities & Rabid Badgers

By the Editors

This week's MMWR brings two new perils to our attention.

In Arkansas, a bonfire at a 19-member family gathering led to 18 confirmed or probable cases of histoplasmosis. Guests roasted hotdogs over a bonfire fueled by bamboo in which red-winged blackbirds had been roosting. (Bird feces is a known source of Histoplasma capsulatum.) The implications? "Clinicians should be aware that exposure to a bonfire of bamboo in which birds have previously roosted might be a risk factor to consider when questioning patients with signs and symptoms of histoplasmosis."

Meanwhile, in Taiwan, a half-century of freedom from rabies has ended with an outbreak among ferret-badgers — cute, cuddly looking things. Almost a third of all ferret-badger corpses tested were positive for rabies. Attempts to vaccinate them orally through food baits have been unsuccessful. In addition to being cute, they're apparently picky eaters.

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