Spring took its time coming to Eastern Canada this year. March saw overcast skies and cold weather more often than not. Still, as April rolls in, temperatures climb rapidly and plants begin to flower and green — and in some places, so does the water…
Wet and warm weather provide a perfect breeding ground for fungus and algae. Areas of low ground, especially those near water, are quickly covered in a new growth. Unfortunately, this year’s spring renewal introduces a strange bacteria, causing an illness which spreads quickly.
An unknown illness caused by rampant bacterial growth in the wetlands spreads throughout Nova Scotia and surrounding areas. Its infection vector is unknown, but does not seem to be airborne. In addition to affecting canines, it also seems to affect most wildlife and livestock, including herd animals, other mammals, and fish. Birds seem the least affected.
Symptoms may manifest as any of the following, often in combination. Extremely young and old are more vulnerable, and chronic conditions may remain.
- Fever & shivering
- Loss of appetite, weight loss & vomiting, possibly with blood
- Rapid dehydration
- Eye discharge
- Difficulty breathing (e.g., coughing, wheezing and other unusual breathing sounds)
- Sore muscles & stiffness in muscles, legs, stiff gait
- Dark red speckled gums (petechiae)
- Runny nose & swelling of the mucous membrane / lymph nodes
For the most part, the illness itself does not seem to be necessarily fatal. However, symptoms can become extremely severe in younger, older, smaller, or otherwise weaker individuals, which, if left untreated, may lead to death. For example, livestock with severe appetite loss may eventually die of starvation.
Eventually, constant rain will hit at the end of April, followed by a dry spell in mid May. This will cull back the rampant bacterial growth, and as areas dry out, the effects of the illness will lessen gradually.
- 10 Apr: Steady rain begins and the area grows warm and wet.
- 15 Apr: Canines and other animals begin to exhibit symptoms of the illness.
- 20 Apr: The illness is in full swing.
- 1 May: The wet weather gradually comes to a stop, and those first (surviving) infected begin to recover.
- 10 May: The dry spell soaks up the excess moisture in the land, and most of the surviving infected have recovered by now.