Monday, August 21, 2006
Today papers around the world reported that a young British man named John Freeman died suddenly after contracting the rare and terrifying Rabbit Flu, which he got from handling an infected rabbit. They called it the "First Case of Rabbit Flu," as if this marked the beginning of a long-feared epidemic. But, um, it wasn't Rabbit Flu: Freeman died from pasteurella, a bacterium that infects many different animals, and has been causing rarely-deadly problems in humans for centuries (think cat scratch fever). No big new epidemic, no cause for alarm, just bad headlines. I hate it when that happens.