Here’s a disease vector that Michael Crichton won’t be writing about anytime soon.
Oysterman Jim Aguiar had never had to deal with the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus in his 25 years working the frigid waters of Prince William Sound.
The dangerous microbe infected seafood in warmer waters, like the Gulf of Mexico. Alaska was way too cold.
But the sound was gradually warming. By summer 2004, the temperature had risen just enough to poke above the crucial 59-degree mark. Cruise ship passengers who had eaten local oysters were soon coming down with diarrhea, cramping and vomiting — the first cases of Vibrio food poisoning in Alaska that anyone could remember.
“We were slapped from left field,” said Aguiar, who shut down his oyster farm that year along with a few others.
As scientists later determined, the culprit was not just the bacterium, but the warming that allowed it to proliferate.
“This was probably the best example to date of how global climate change is changing the importation of infectious diseases,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, acting chief of epidemiology at the Alaska Division of Public Health, who published a study on the outbreak.
But since Al Gore lives in a big house (!!!!!!111!ONE!!111), all this should be filed under “liberal-socialist hysteria.”
In related news, I’m eagerly awaiting illuminations from Glenn Reynolds and Ann Althouse as to Nancy Pelosi’s responsibility for all this. And since Bob Owens once took a geology course somewhere, I suppose his thoughts will be forthcoming as well.