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Bubonic / Pneumonic / Septicemic Plague: Yersinia Pestis



Bubonic plague suspected in NYC visitors
Friday, November 8, 2002 Posted: 12:14 PM EST (1714 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A New Mexico couple who traveled to New York have been hospitalized with what is believed to be the first case of bubonic plague in the city in a century, said health officials.

The couple arrived in the city last Friday and went to the hospital two days later with high fever and swollen lymph nodes. The man, 53, is in critical condition and on life support at a Manhattan hospital; his 47-year-old wife is in stable condition, said officials. Both are in isolation at the hospital.

"Today, we are announcing what are likely to be the first cases of bubonic plague in New York City in 100 years," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the health commissioner of New York City.

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Bubonic Plague in the USA



Two people in New York have caught the black death for the first time in the city for 100 years. I presume that they will be OK with a little penicilin or some bread from my bread bin. It does seem as though they have always known that there is plague in the New Mexico area and that 20-30 people get it each year. It makes you wonder why this artical is special.....is it because it is New York? Yes, of course it is.

Terrorists would avoid using something that we could deal with easily. Can we deal with it easily? Two people or even 32 people is hardly an epidemic but could we control the black death with the unprepared resources that we have.

Do we have the means to create enough penicilin to deal with an outbreak of plague?

Do we have enough bread?
luckily the good old MOD "innoculated" me against the "black death", oh and anthrax, and lots of other nasty jabs and tablets..Plague ha!! bring it on. If only i didn't have to deal with the mania, depression, night sweats,bleeding gums, aching bones and migraines, OH thats right i don't have Gulf War Syndrome 'cause it doesn't exist??????????????????????:cross eye
There's a Discovery Channel prog about plague which airs now & then, from which I learned that plague appears occasionally in the US through being carried by small mammals.

Squirrels and rats carry fleas which are sometimes infected and in the prog we see state public health workers humanely trapping little rodents and shaking their fleas off to test for plague.

Antibiotics work well against plague and general good health is also a defence.

Did you know- something else I learned from Discovery- that CHOLERA is present in shellfish commonly found off the NE US coast??
Re: Bubonic Plague in the USA

St.Clair said:


Two people in New York have caught the black death for the first time in the city for 100 years. I presume that they will be OK with a little penicilin or some bread from my bread bin.

Yersinia pestis is resistant to penicillin. You want tetracyclines, that's what you want.

More common than you think...

Take a look at the statistics. Scary.

So how many cases does there have to be before it's an epidemic? And how does a disease that's around and dangerous shift from being "something you might get but it's more likely you'll die in a car crash" to "don't go out of your house because there's a plague going on!"
Which raises the point that one cannot catch a "plague".

A region can be affected by plague but a single person cant have a "plague". Even in a plague, one cannot catch "plague"

But it is true that the word "Plague" is now a loose term from bubonic fever.

Just a thought..........
Plague, whilst also applying to "plagues of rats", "plagues of locusts", and "plagues of donkeys", etc, is also specifically the name applying to the disease caused by Yersina Pestis.

2 a : an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality : PESTILENCE b : a virulent contagious febrile disease that is caused by a bacterium (Yersinia pestis) and that occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms -- called also black death

(Merriam Webster)

The interesting question is the connection between Yersina Pestis and the Black Death, which has been brought into doubt (by some) over the last couple of years. If Black death is something else, then it could mean that it is still lurking out there, ready to strike again, and give us all one hell of a shock.
35 Bubonic plague samples missing from lab

Conspiracy or incompetence? You make the call.

LUBBOCK, Texas (Jan. 15) - Vials containing samples of lethal bubonic plague have disappeared from Texas Tech University, and the FBI was investigating, authorities said Wednesday.

A statement from the university said vials of bubonic plague, being used to improve treatment of plague victims, were reported missing to campus police on Tuesday.

Thirty-five vials were believed missing from the school's Health Sciences Center, said Frank Morrison, a Lubbock city councilman, who told CNN he was briefed by emergency officials. There was no indication that a theft has occurred, Morrison said.

''I do not believe it is currently a weapons grade but it can be converted into a weapons grade,'' Morrison said.

City officials planned a news conference.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's Web site, quoting unidentified law enforcement sources, said the vials turned up missing several days earlier but wasn't reported to police until Tuesday. Sixty investigators from various converged on the medical school campus, the newspaper said.

The school said the research was being conducted by Dr. Thomas Butler, chief of its infection disease division, who has been studying the plague for more than 25 years. It said there was no reason to believe the vials were stolen but officials thought it was ''prudent'' to get law enforcement involved because of current concerns about bioterrorism.

In Washington, FBI officials confirmed that they were contacted Tuesday night and dispatched agents to Lubbock to assist local authorities.

White House officials have been briefed on the plague reports, said spokesman Ari Fleischer. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also was investigating. No other specifics about the probe were immediately available.

Bubonic plague is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis. People usually get it from being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an infected animal.

The disease can be treated with antibiotics. Health officials say 10 to 20 people in the United States contract plague each year. About one in seven U.S. cases is fatal.

Plague outbreaks have killed about 200 million people in the past 1,500 years. The most infamous, Europe's Black Death, started in 1347, killing 25 million people in Europe and 13 million in the Middle East and China within five years.

Plague - along with anthrax, smallpox and a handful of other deadly agents - is on a short watch list distributed by the federal government, which wants to make sure doctors and hospitals recognize a bioterror attack quickly.

But plague's symptoms can be difficult to spot. The disease is characterized by swelling, weakness and fever, symptoms that can signal anything from flu to West Nile virus.

Bubonic plague is not contagious. But left untreated, it can transform into pneumonic plague, a more dangerous disease that can be spread from person to person.

AP-NY-01-15-03 1431EST
I hope they have been accidentally posted to my ex's house.
They have been found

everything is okey dokey now..just found out. (your cia informant for MB)..."ring around the rosey "..know what that means??:cool:
Phew, at least we won't have to be looking out for crosses painted on people's doors . . .

According to the article, they "turned up missing" several days ago. So that's alright then. Unless someone wakes up dead ;)


here it is finally made the news

-- Missing vials in Texas that contained bubonic plague cultures are accounted for and there is no threat to public safety, authorities say.
Watch CNN or log on to http://www.CNN.com /AOL Keyword: CNN for the latest news.
Re: here it is finally made the news

ruffready said:
-- Missing vials in Texas that contained bubonic plague cultures are accounted for and there is no threat to public safety, authorities say.
Watch CNN or log on to http://www.CNN.com /AOL Keyword: CNN for the latest news.
Apparently they were found at the back of the fridge, next to the temporary lab assistant's pot of Fruits of the Forest 'Activated' yoghurt!

A friend of a friend ( i didnt know him that well but spoke to on occasion ) used to work in a lab that did work like that.
He caused a bit of a panic bringing home some Biohazard stickers to put on cupboards fridges etc. When the men in the white overalls and gas masks turned up to swab the house he told em to chill out etc. but was then reminded that the stickers had come from INSIDE the lab...... ( duh!! he hadn't thought of that )
But then it could have all been a wind up as they were prone to going to the beach with Hazmat suits on and test tubes to frighten the locals as a prank. ( muppets )
Sometimes I'm glad when I read these threads days late! All sorts of horrible thoughts about terrorists were going through my head until I read that the samples had been found. Nice to know the ppl handling these things are so responsible as to "lose" them. :err:
Nice to know the ppl handling these things are so responsible as to "lose" them
If ya really wanna start panicking Spooky try typing Broken arrow or bent spear into a search engine :eek!!!!: :eek!!!!:
Its frightening that they've even got code names for it that are so well known!
Scott Bainbridge said:
If ya really wanna start panicking Spooky try typing Broken arrow or bent spear into a search engine :eek!!!!: :eek!!!!:
Its frightening that they've even got code names for it that are so well known!
What's the actual quote from the film? Something like:
"I don't know what's scarier, losing nuclear weapons, or that it happens so often that there's actually a term for it."

Is that the film with John Travolta that you're referring to?

If it isn't and I've just said something stupid, I'll go hide my head in that sand over there. ;)
Yeah thats the one, bumped into a site once that listed a lot of the code names for government programmes. Was looking into Montauk AFB in new york. ( the only national park in the world that 80% is closed to the public) lots of weird stuff going there.....

P.s No head hiding required on here ever is there? :blah:

p.p.s Found one of the links i was on about....scary reading in this day and age
Black Death 'is lying in wait'

The Black Death, which killed 23m people in the middle ages, could be lying dormant and could strike again, say researchers.
Their claim is based on the theory that the pandemic was triggered not by bubonic plague but by another virus.

The theory is outlined in a new book by Professor Christopher Duncan and Dr Susan Scott of Liverpool University.

"We believe this virus is merely lying in wait, ready to strike again," said Professor Duncan.

The Black Death is thought to have caused the deaths of up to 200m people worldwide over the past 1,500 years.

In the 14th century alone, around 23m people are thought to have died after the disease ravaged much of Asia and Europe.

Globally the disease still affects between 1,000 to 3,000 people a year. However, if caught early it can be cured with antibiotics.

Historical records

As part of their research, Professor Duncan and Dr Scott studied original parish records, wills and diaries to create a profile of the killer disease.

They examined eyewitness accounts as well as accounts by several famous figures who escaped infection, including Henry VIII and William Shakespeare.

This research led them to conclude that the deaths were not caused by bubonic plague but by some other viral disease.

Professor Duncan said the virus may still exist somewhere in the world.

"Although the last known outbreak of plague occurred over three centuries ago, we believe the virus is merely lying in wait, ready to strike again."

He also suggested that the disease if it does emerge again could turn into a major killer.

"Globalisation and our increasingly mobile population make rapid transmission of infectious disease unavoidable - as demonstrated in the recent outbreaks of Sars.

"These factors, combined with the increased threat of bio-terrorism, may allow for the re-emergence of the virus as an even more ruthless killer."

However, Dr Michael Smith, a leading expert on plague, played down the claims.

"For many years, there have been queries about whether the bubonic plague was responsible for the Black Death," he told BBC News Online.

"However, much of the clinical descriptions certainly fit bubonic plague. A paper, published by French researchers recently, based on DNA tests on the remains of two people who died during this time also found evidence that it was bubonic plague.

"The body of evidence suggests that it was bubonic plague."

We've had plague in the US since at least the California gold rush. It's been slowly crossing the country in rodent popluations (plague resivoirs) and as of 1984 or so was only just getting into the midwest. It's one of the reasons you see US varmint hunters eradicating prarie dog towns and not eating or touching them, which I used to regard as rather cruel and wasteful... I wasn't aware it had reached the east coast, however. No rat shortage in DC or NY, although it fluctuates.
Plague outbreak kills 60 in Congo

At least 60 people are thought to have died in an outbreak of plague in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization has said.

It is thought to be the worst outbreak of pneumonic plague, which affects victims' lungs, for 50 years.

The people who have died are all diamond miners. Another 350 miners have been infected.

The WHO is to send an emergency team to the area, in the former Zaire, in a bid to stem the outbreak.

An advance team has already visited the area to confirm that people are infected with the plague.

The WHO said the mine was near Zobin, in Oriental province, north of the country's biggest city, Kisangani, a major trading centre on the Congo River.

The outbreak began in late December, but the WHO were only alerted to it last week.

Around 7,000 people worked at the mine. The WHO team will focus on trying to trace the 2,000 who have left since the start of the outbreak.

'Unstable area'

Bubonic plague is endemic in parts of Africa, including the DRC, but pneumonic plague, which occurs when the bacteria infects the lung, has a very high fatality rate and is "invariably" deadly when left untreated, the WHO said.

Humans are generally infected with plague by rodents and fleas, but the pneumonic form of the disease can also be transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets.

WHO spokeswoman Christine McNab said: "Normally it can be easily controlled with antibiotics.

"In this case, because it is in an area which is relatively unstable, there hasn't been any opportunity to initiate plague control activities, so the outbreak has grown relatively large."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/h ... 276627.stm

Published: 2005/02/18 14:13:10 GMT

Mice Infected With Bubonic Plague Missing

Mice Infected With Bubonic Plague Missing

Three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague apparently disappeared from a laboratory about two weeks ago, and authorities launched a search though health experts said there was scant public risk.

The mice were unaccounted-for at the Public Health Research Institute, which is on the campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and conducts bioterrorism research for the federal government.

Federal official said the mice may never be accounted for. Among other things, the rodents may have been stolen, eaten by other lab animals or just misplaced in a paperwork error.

If the mice got outside the lab, they would have already died from the disease, state Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs said.

The possibility of theft prompted the institute to interrogate two dozen of its employees and conduct lie detector tests, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported Thursday.

The FBI said it was investigating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating, the newspaper reported.

University officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday morning.

The mice were injected as part of an inoculation and vaccination experiment, investigators said.

Health officials say 10 to 20 people in the United States contract plague each year, usually through infected fleas or rodents. It can be treated with antibiotics, but about one in seven U.S. cases is fatal. Bubonic plague is not contagious, but left untreated it can transform into pneumonic plague, which can be spread from person to person.

The incident came as federal authorities investigate possible corruption in the school's finances. The FBI is reviewing political donations and millions of dollars in no-bid contracts awarded to politically connected firms.


On the Net:

Institute: http://www.phri.org

Bubonic plague found in Colo. prairie dogs

Bubonic plague found in Colo. prairie dogs

Colorado health officials have reportedly confirmed an outbreak of bubonic plague among prairie dog colonies near Green Mountain.

No reports of human cases have been received, but precautions were being urged, the Denver Post reported Monday. Pet owners were advised to confine their dogs and cats to prevent contact with any species of wild rodents, especially those appearing sick or dead.

Climate change could spread plague

Climate change could spread plague: scientists
By James Kilner

Warmer, wetter weather brought on by global warming could increase outbreaks of the plague, which has killed millions down the ages and wiped out one third of Europe's population in the 14th century, academics said.

Migratory birds spreading avian flu from Asia today could also carry the plague bacteria westward from their source in Central Asia, Nils Stenseth, head of a three-day conference on the plague and how it spreads, told Reuters on Monday.

"Wetter, warmer weather conditions mean there are likely to be more of the bacteria around than normal and the chance of it spreading to humans is higher," he said.

The European Union-funded group has just finished analyzing Soviet-era data from Kazakhstan which show a link between warmer weather and outbreaks of the plague.

This analysis was important as it had not previously been clear whether warmer conditions encouraged the bacteria, fleas and rats to grow or killed them off, Stenseth said. Plague bacteria are often carried by fleas on rats.

"But if it becomes too hot it would kill off the fleas and rodents," he said.

Many scientists say a build-up of heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels is pushing up temperatures around the world and changing Earth's climate.


The plague -- caused by the virulent, aggressive and mutating Yersinia Pestis bacteria -- periodically breaks out in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries and has been carried around the globe by fleas on the back of rats, birds and in clothing for centuries, Stenseth said.

"If you treat it with antibiotics in a few days it should be all right, but if you leave it any longer there is a 60 percent chance of death."

In the 14th century the plague killed around 34 million people and some academics believe it reappeared every generation, including the Great Plague of London in 1665-66.

"The link is very important and it is also important to link it back to the Black Death in the 1300s because there were the kind of weather conditions then -- warmer and wetter -- that we predict for the future," Stenseth said.

"After 1855, when it (plague) reappeared again, there were once again similar weather conditions."

Scientists are still unsure why the plague originates in Central Asia. It has spread throughout the world, including recently to east Africa, and this is due at least partly to birds.

"Many, many bird species are spreading bacteria from one place to another, from one rodent to another, by carrying fleas," Stenseth said.

"That birds spread the bacteria is not in question but how important that is in the big picture is not yet clear."

Unlike the bird flu virus, which infects and kills domestic birds, plague-carrying fleas do not harm the birds that carry them.

Great, so we've got Bird Flu and the bubonic plague making a potential comeback - I reckon the best place to leg it to is somewhere nice and cold. Preferably with no rats or birds.