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bhjelle at unm.edu bhjelle at unm.edu
Fri Sep 2 09:59:21 EST 1994

In article <346bsp$a5s at www.interramp.com>,  <knunan at .interramp.com> wrote:
>Paul Epstein of Harvard feels that the emergence of hantavirus
>and the pulmonary variant (which mayve always been around) is
>due to the increase in rodent populations. Grenard, in his
>new book MEDICAl HERPETOLOGY, discusses many viruses in
>relation to reptiles and amphibians. Re Hantavirus, Grenard
>traces the increase in deer mice to a decline in mice predators
>in addition to favorable conditions such as heavy rains and
>a preponderance of pine nut food for the rodents. Over 10-15
>years events known as rattlesnake round-ups  occurred
>throughout the southwest.  Millions of rattlesnakes (all
>certified deer mouse predators) are rounded up and killed. Their

Rattlesnake roundups are a Texas thing, not at all big
around Four Corners where the great majority of cases
have occurred.

>translate into multitudinous millions of mice, perhaps approaching
>billions, free to provide hostspace to hantavirus;  with
>increased population contact with or near humans is inevitable.

There is some evidence of a rodent population boom
that may have facilitated transmission of Four Corners
virus in the spring and summer of 1993. Overgrazing
may have contributed to the influx of rodents into houses.
Some have linked the rodent boom to El nino events,
which resulted in two wet winters in a row.

>There are many other interesting virus-related issues covered
>in this book which is available from the publisher for $19.95:
>In US call 717-622-6050.  or write NG Publications, RD 3, Rte 61,
>Box 3709A, Pottsville, Pennsylvania 17901. . 

You wouldn't happen to have a financial interest
in all of this, would you?
I don't happen to be a supporter of rattlesnake
roundups, but if your book tries to make a case
for a linkage between rattlesnake roundups and
the 1993 HPS outbreak, I think it reflects the
degree to which the authors are out of touch with
the details of the HPS outbreak and with the
geography and culture of the Southwest.


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