An item in FoxNews.com’s Science section today (yes, Virginia, there is a Fox Science section) explores the bed bug’s African cousin, the African bat bug (Afrocimex constrictus), “a close relative” of the bed bug.
The article describes research at the University of Sheffield (England), where Klaus Reinhardt and colleagues are studying the creatures.
Reinhardt and his colleagues investigated remote and dangerous bat caves in East Africa for the bloodsucking African bat bug (Afrocimex constrictus), a close relative of the bed bug. The bats were reportedly hosts for Ebola and other lethal viruses.
“We had to work in containment suits with full-faced respirators in sweltering temperatures for hours at end,” Reinhardt said.
What’s wrong with America today, as per this post’s subtitle, is that after dropping the E-bomb, the article goes on to obsess about how the male African bat bugs have a whole ‘nother set of genitalia–fake female parts, as it were.
Um, hello! Who cares?!? You just told me that a close relative of the bed bug is feeding on a mammal that carries the Ebola virus.
And just how, exactly, does this affect our current perceptions of the potential health dangers of the African bat bug’s close relative, Cimex Lectularius? The insect we’re told repeatedly does not transmit any known pathogens?
It does not bode well. Sure, they are not known to transmit pathogens now, but neither did North American mosquitoes a few years ago.
Yes, yes. I know that carrying a pathogen is not the same as spreading it. And I am the first one to say, “don’t panic.”
But I also lived in NYC when they started dropping planeloads of pesticide to kill mosquitoes with West Nile.
Listen, scientific research community, stop looking at insect nasty parts and do something to create some bed bug weapons of mass destruction, because I am seriously freaked out right now.
Oh, and yes, this sort of hysteria is exactly what I get for reading an article in Fox News online.
But the google alert spit it up, so what is a girl to do? Oh, and now can we be Best Health Blog? Please?