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Possums Shed Light on Epidemics

By Brisbane City Council [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Possums Shed Light on Epidemics

Possums may help us understand how epidemics spread among humans, reports. Scientists studying how Escherichia coli is transferred between mountain brushtail possums have found that the bacterium doesn’t spread while the critters are curled up together all day in their dens. Instead, there’s more chance of transmission when they are out foraging together at night. The finding, published in Ecology Letters, suggests that the spread of bacteria depends more on the type of interactions that take place between animals than the amount of time spent together.

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