in

Strange New Pox Arises Out of US Wilderness, Claims First Victim

strange-new-pox-arises-out-of-us-wilderness,-claims-first-victim
Strange New Pox Arises Out of US Wilderness, Claims First Victim

News

Strange New Pox Arises Out of US Wilderness, Claims First Victim

 By Jack Davis  February 12, 2024 at 9:14am

An Alaska man has died from a disease with only seven known human victims, none of them fatalities.

The orthopoxvirus Alaskapox was identified nine years ago, according to the Alaska Department of Health.

The man who died lived in the Kenai Peninsula in the southern part of the state, about 500 miles from Fairbanks to the north, where all the previous cases had been clustered.

“I totally appreciate that that’s a new case, that people are surprised. But then, if you know the reality of diseases and the history of diseases, we shouldn’t be surprised,” Falk Huettmann, a University of Alaska Fairbanks biologist who studies wildlife diseases, said, according to the Alaska Beacon.

“Everything is possible by now,” he said.

The Kenai Peninsula man who died was elderly with a compromised immune system, according to a state epidemiology bulletin issued Friday.

He, like the individuals sicked by the disease near Fairbanks, lived in a wooded area where contact could have been possible with small mammals, the bulletin said.

Neither the epidemiology bulletin nor the Beacon identified him.

The man noticed lesions in his right armpit in September, according to the bulletin. He was admitted to a hospital in November and died in January, becoming the first Alaskapox fatality.

Would you ever vacation in Alaska?

The bulletin said the disease is carried by small mammals, in particular Alaska’s red-backed vole. The Kenai Peninsula man said he had been caring for a stray cat that had been hunting in the nearby forest, and it had scratched him several times.

The bulletin said it is likely the disease has now been spread by the voles and other mammals that harbor it across much of Alaska.

Prior to the Kenai Peninsula man’s death, Alaskapox infections caused little more than fevers and fatigue, said Julia Rogers, a state epidemiologist, according to the Beacon.

“All six prior cases were identified in an outpatient setting and involved mild illnesses that were largely resolved within a few weeks without hospitalization. None of these patients had significant prior medical history, including immunocompromising conditions,” Rogers said.

Link Olson, curator of mammals at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, said a 25-year-old vole specimen in the museum’s collection was tested and found to have the disease.

“We know this is not a last-10-years-thing,” he said, noting the potential exists for the disease to be found beyond Alaska.

“I fully expect that this will be detected across the boreal forest,” Olson said, describing a region that stretches all the way to Canada’s east coast.

Rogers said the virus generally is transmitted by animals to other animals, according to Alaska Public Media.

“Orthopox viruses are zoonotic viruses, meaning that they circulate primarily within animal populations with spillover into humans occasionally,” she said.

Rogers said no evidence has been found of person-to-person transmission.

Alaska’s Health Department said symptoms include skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes and pain in the joints or muscles.


A Note from Our Deputy Managing Editor:

“We don’t even know if an election will be held in 2024.” Those 12 words have been stuck in my head since I first read them. 

Former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn recently made that comment to Floyd Brown, founder of The Western Journal. 

And if the leftists and the elites get their way, that’s exactly what will happen — no real election, no real choice for the Electoral College, and no real say for the American people. 

The Western Journal is fighting to keep that from happening, but we can’t do it alone.

We work tirelessly to expose the lying leftist media and the corrupt America-hating elites.

But Big Tech’s stranglehold is now so tight that without help from you, we will not be able to continue the fight. 

The 2024 election is literally the most important election for every living American. We have to unite and fight for our country, otherwise we will lose it. And if we lose the America we love in 2024, we’ll lose it for good. Can we count on you to help? 

With you we will be able to field journalists, do more investigative work, expose more corruption, and get desperately needed truth to millions of Americans. 

We can do this only with your help. Please don’t wait one minute. Donate right now.

Thank you for reading,

Josh Manning

Deputy Managing Editor

P.S. Please stand with us today.

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.

Location

New York City

Languages Spoken

English

Topics of Expertise

Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues

rfk-jr.-sends-‘sincerest-apologies’-to-his-family-over-super-bowl-commercial

RFK Jr. Sends ‘Sincerest Apologies’ to His Family Over Super Bowl Commercial

tennessee-fugitive’s-brother,-girlfriend-arrested-as-manhunt-continues-for-suspect-accused-of-killing-deputy

Tennessee fugitive’s brother, girlfriend arrested as manhunt continues for suspect accused of killing deputy