[Sca-cooks] wild rabbit

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sat Sep 8 23:27:18 PDT 2012

Major plague outbreaks tend to be cyclic in long cycles.  The last big 
outbreak began in Central Asia in the mid-19th Century and moved slowly 
across Asia until it got transshipped to Oahu where the first case was 
confirmed on Dec. 12, 1899.  On New Year's Eve, the city attempted a 
controlled burn of several buildings in Chinatown and managed to burn the 
entire enclave down (as graphically presented in Michener's Hawaii). 
Obviously, cooking kills the plague and hopefully the fleas that spread it 
around.  Whether one wants to eat it or not, that's another question.

The plague went from Hawaii to San Francisco (or possibly from Asia to SF) 
and became endemic in the American West.  Since then, it has been slowly 
moving eastward.

Seventy-six species of mammals are known to carry plague.  Fortunately, not 
all of the species of fleas that infest them like human hosts.  The last rat 
(their fleas love us) carried plague in the US was in 1924-25 (IIRC). 
Roughly 10 people per year contract bubonic plague.

The conditions that appear to trigger major outbreaks are drops in predation 
with food and weather that promote increasing rodent populations followed by 
a drop in food supply that moves the rodents into greater contact with man. 
It also takes a small but presistent population of infected animals to 
infect the greater population with a short enough time between the infection 
and the contact with people, that you don't kill off most of the carrying 
rodents.  Looking at the uptick in hantavirus infections, the conditions for 
an outbreak of plague may be here.


----- Original Message ----- 

2. How recent is recent? in 1977, there were 2 HS students in Ash Fork AZ, 
out shooting rabbits, and got plague...and the warnings about plague & 
rabbits is still out there (what works against fleas?) (Does cooking destroy 
the plague organism?)

And how scary is it to think about it still being around, was it prevalent 
world wide or brought by the European settlers...

Arianwen ferch Arthur

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