Concern Raised Over Prairie Dogs Carrying Infectious Disease - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/9/03

Concern Raised Over Prairie Dogs Carrying Infectious Disease

A disease thought to be unknown to the Western Hemisphere are showing up in the Great Lakes area. It's called "Monkey Pox," and right now health officials are investigating more than 30 suspected cases.

Prairie Dogs appear to be the predominant carrier of Monkey Pox, which is a milder relative of the Smallpox Virus. It causes flu like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes and skin lesions. It can be deadly in 1 to 10% of cases.

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The source of the infection is believed to be a giant Gambian Rat - that spread the illness to Prairie Dogs at a Chicago exotic pet distributor.

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