Gold Mine Dangers – Prospecting Hazards
Old gold mine dangers that can kill you!
Never enter or even go near old gold mines . . . Nothing is worth losing your life over! sure, we all know there ccan be loose rocks deteriorated wood roof supports,, nails, sharp objects as well as poison gas. But old gold mines are also popular homes for snakes, bats, spiders and large animals like mountain lions,, bears wild pigs and bobcats.
I would bet that you didn’t even think about rabies or in the Southwest, Hantavirus. Hantaviruses are single-stranded, enveloped, negative sense RNA viruses which can kill humans. They normally infect rodents and do not cause disease in these hosts. Anyone exploring caves and mines that contain bats or other mammals should get the rabies vaccine.
Rabies virus is easily inhaled from the dust coming from animal waste. Nowadays, this is a 3 shot series into the arm over several weeks. It is now much like a flu shot, and is no longer given into the stomach like the older vaccine. Once symptoms start, it is too late to get vaccinated. Rabies is almost uniformly fatal once symptoms start, even with modern medical treatment, so vaccination is key. A few bat issues. About 50% of all bats carry rabies and you can catch it from breathing aerosolized urine in areas where there are large numbers of bats. Getting rabies vaccine is a good idea if you are around them often. It is a 3 shot series that is quite expensive. Next is histoplasmosis which is a fungal type pneumonia from an organism that lives in quano, pigeon shit, etc. Talk to your doc or local health department to get the vaccine.
Stay out of old gold mines
Health problems of gold miners who worked underground include decreased life expectancy; increased frequency of cancer of the trachea, bronchus, lung, stomach, and liver; increased frequency of pulmonary tuberculosis , silicosis, and pleural diseases; increased frequency of insect-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever; noise-induced hearing loss; increased prevalence of certain bacterial and viral diseases; and diseases of the blood, skin, and musculoskeletal system.
More health info: Human Health Risk Assessment of Artisanal Miners