Thursday, October 09, 2014

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis - another reason not to smoke

I was watching the news tonight and this pesky ailment is spreading via
vegetables including carrots and lettuce. I'd guess if lettuce can
spread God's punishment on the vegans, tobacco leaf could too.

This critter isn't just a food poisoning, "Genetically, the pathogen
causing plague, Y. pestis, is very similar to Y. pseudotuberculosis. The
plague appears to have evolved from Y. pseudotuberculosis about 1500 to
20,000 years ago.[" - Wikipedia.

Disclaimer: I'm not a public health expert; I'm a computer programmer
who occasionally does stand-up. If you want to base personal health
decisions on tips from me, can I also get you to help me get a
considerable amount of money out of Nigeria?

What about the rats? They spread plague, they could probably spread Y.
pseudotuberculosis when they are having their morning showers.

One of the scariest things I've ever seen was a (pet) rat running across
the floor towards cover with a lit cigarette in her mouth. I never left
another lit cigarette in the ashtray in that flat again. Of course now I
haven't had pet rats for over 20 years and no-longer smoke it's all
rather academic.

Those rats were real sweeties. Once when I had 'flu one of them hopped
up on the bed, sniffed me, then turned and ran off. "Great", I thought,
"Even the rat doesn't want to know me". A minute or so later he was
back, walked over to my hand, opened his mouth and dropped an uncooked
piece of tapioca in my hand ... he'd worked out I was sick and gone to
his food bowl to get me a treat.

OK, he didn't actually like the tapioca, but probably figured that since
I kept giving it to him I must.

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Monday 9 October 2014.

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