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Nightmares of the Present: Anthrax Outbreak in Russia Came From a 75-Year-Old Frozen Reindeer Carcass Thawed by Heatwave

A horror scenario straight out of a science fiction story appears to have come to life in Russia, with an outbreak of anthrax – which has killed 1500 reindeer and hospitalized a number of humans – being blamed on a frozen 75-year-old reindeer carcass that has been thawed by a recent heatwave:

According to the Siberian Times, officials initially thought that the reindeer deaths and human illnesses were the result of a heat wave, after uncommonly high temperatures of up to 95 degrees F swept through the region. And, in a way, it seems they were: Officials with the Russian Ministry of Agriculture believe the cause of infection is the thawing of the frozen carcass of a reindeer that died 75 years ago. Reindeer, weakened by the heat, may have eaten the carcass, and then passed on the disease to the nomad herders.

Grailers will remember one of Mikey’s posts in his “Nightmares of the Future” series touched on the ‘climatological horror’ scenario depicted in the British TV show Fortitude (if you haven’t seen it, spoilers follow). In that case, a thawing mammoth carcass was to blame for bringing back to life an ancient parasite that spreads through the population of a small settlement in Norway.

As our planet continues to warm, and glaciers and other ice packs disappear, hopefully there aren’t any greater ‘evils’ waiting to wake from their slumber…

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