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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/15/2005 3:52:21 AM EDT
I just heard this on the News this morning, anyone have any further info ?
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 3:56:48 AM EDT
Google is your friend.


Three Plagued Mice

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Sep 15, 2005 7:17 am US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) NEWARK, N.J. Three lab mice that were exposed to the plague are missing from the Public Health research Institute in Newark.

The animals could have been stolen or eaten by other animals in their cages.

Officials say the risk to public safety is minimal because the infected mice would die quickly.

The incident occurred more than two weeks ago.

The research lab is located on the campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. U-M-D-N-J has responsibility for security.

The F-B-I and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating.

State Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs tells The Star-Ledger of Newark the incident seemed to be the result of ``internal sloppiness in the management of that lab.''

The lab mice were injected as part of an inoculation and vaccination experiment with the bacterium that causes bubonic and other forms of plague. The infectious disease can be treated with antibiotics if quickly diagnosed.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 3:57:35 AM EDT
Give Willard a call -
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 3:57:56 AM EDT
think NJ will notice?
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:01:59 AM EDT
Bubonic plague can be treated with basic antibiotics. What's the big deal.

Now if you had said rats infected with ebola....
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:03:52 AM EDT
Maybe some animal rights wacko set them free.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:04:02 AM EDT

Now if you had said rats infected with ebola....

Good times!

Link Posted: 9/15/2005 4:11:38 AM EDT
Heck, you have plague infected praire dogs all over Boulder, CO and they are protected law!
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 5:05:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 2A373:
Officials say the risk to public safety is minimal because the infected mice would die quickly.

Yeah, the gators will get them in the sewers.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 5:27:13 AM EDT
Why did I have a feeling the mice came from Newark.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 5:29:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 5:30:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 5:32:15 AM EDT
I feel better knowing that they are saying its no big deal, what the hell is a little bubonic plague anyway ?
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 6:15:12 AM EDT
Naturally occurring plague in rodents is still quite common in North America.

I would file this one under the "no big deal" bin.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 6:17:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Maybe some animal rights wacko set them free.

They're infected with RAGE!!
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 6:28:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/15/2005 6:36:59 AM EDT by desertmoon]

Originally Posted By Pault:
I feel better knowing that they are saying its no big deal, what the hell is a little bubonic plague anyway ?

A very painful way to die. In the 13th ( or was it the 14th? ) century, Plauge wiped out more than a quarter of the poulation of Europe.

Plague is only endemic in the Southwestern United States due to a plague victims arrriving from China in the late 1800's. The disease spread across parts of the the Southwest and has been endemic in the rodent poulation since then.

ETA: I should answer your question directly. Plague is a disease caused by the Bacterium Yersina Pestis ( sp ). It infects either the lymphatic system ( Bubonic ), the respiratory system ( Pnuemonic ) OR the blood stream ( Septicimic ).

In the Bubonic form , the bacterium infect the lymph nodes and cause them to swell and eventually turn black....these sores were called Buboes. If you have ever had a lymph infection, you know how painful this can be.....and it is VERY painful.

Sometimes the bacterium will decide to infect the lungs instead of the lymph system...this causes what is, in effect, SUPER-pnuemonia. It kills HARD and it kills FAST.

and once in a while the bacterium will get bored and infect the blood stream......this is a septicmic infection of plague.......rare.....ugly.....and, again, fast but painful.

Plague is carried by fleas that subsist off of the blood of rodents like rats, ground squirrels and prairie dogs. Infected fleas pass it from critter to critter...if the critters live next to humans then it can be passed on to humans.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 6:29:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/15/2005 6:33:49 AM EDT by pyro6988]
Lets pray that these mice weren't carrying resistant strains of pluge.

From the New England journal of medicine.

link content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/337/10/702

Multidrug Resistance in Plague

Untreated, human plague is often fulminant and fatal,1 which reinforces its historical reputation as a devastating disease. Plague is a zoonosis of rodents and their fleas caused by Yersinia pestis, a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae. People are usually infected by bites from fleas found on rodents, occasionally by direct contact with infectious tissues or exudates, and rarely by respiratory droplets from a person or animal with pneumonic plague. Distinct foci of rodent plague are widely distributed in temperate and tropical areas of the world,2 resulting each year in both sporadic cases and outbreaks of human plague.

From 1980 through 1994, 18,739 cases of plague and 1853 deaths (10 percent) were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by 24 countries in Africa, the Americas, and Asia.3 More cases were reported from 1990 through 1994 than in the preceding decade (a mean of 2025 cases per year vs. 861 cases per year), and outbreaks occurred in East African countries, Madagascar, Peru, and India. Outbreaks of plague in India in 1994 were notable because no cases had been reported in humans there for nearly 30 years and some of the cases were of the primary pneumonic variety. The outbreaks in India caused global alarm, disrupted travel and trade, and resulted in severe economic repercussions.4,5 They also highlighted the lack of preparedness of national and international health agencies to deal with plague epidemics.

From 1980 through 1994, 229 cases of plague were reported in the United States (a mean of 15 cases per year), with 33 deaths (14 percent). One patient acquired the disease in South America, and all other cases resulted from exposures in the western United States. In the United States, the spread of plague in wild rodents in the past several decades has increased the numbers of cases in humans and expanded the geographic distribution of the disease.6

The prevention of plague in humans depends primarily on the maintenance of public sanitation and hygiene, national programs for surveillance and control, and adherence to international health regulations.7 Outbreaks of bubonic plague are controlled by reducing populations of vector fleas and their rodent hosts and by administering prophylactic antibiotics to persons at high risk for exposure. Pneumonic plague is controlled by early diagnosis, isolation of infected patients, and the administration of antibiotics to patients and their close contacts.

Favorable clinical outcomes depend on prompt diagnosis and treatment. Streptomycin and gentamicin are the drugs of choice for treating plague; tetracyclines and chloramphenicol are highly effective alternatives. The penicillins and cephalosporins are not effective. Prompt and specific treatment reduces the case fatality rates from 60 percent or more to less than 15 percent. Tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and chloramphenicol may be used for prophylaxis.

Antimicrobial-drug resistance is an increasingly important factor and poses a serious international challenge to public health in both community and institutional settings.8 The list of resistant bacteria of major public health importance includes those causing tuberculosis, gonorrhea, pneumococcal infections, and hospital-acquired enterococcal and staphylococcal infections. Antimicrobial-drug resistance has resulted in prolonged and more serious illness, the use of more expensive and often more toxic drugs and drug combinations, and increased fatality rates. Drug resistance has not been a recognized problem in treating plague or other vector-borne bacterial diseases, however. Although there are naturally occurring strains of tetracycline-resistant Y. pestis,9,10 strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics have not been reported, nor have treatment failures been attributed to antibiotic resistance. For this reason, the report by Galimand et al. in this issue of the Journal,11 describing multidrug resistance in a strain of Y. pestis isolated from a patient with bubonic plague in Madagascar, is of both clinical and public health importance. This strain of Y. pestis was resistant to all first-line antibiotics as well as to the principal alternative drugs for treatment and prophylaxis. The resistance was mediated by a plasmid and was transferable.

The report by Galimand et al. raises several questions. First, is this an isolated instance of resistance, or is the phenomenon more widespread? Many diagnostic laboratories do not routinely examine Y. pestis for susceptibility to antimicrobial agents, and multidrug resistance could have gone unnoticed. Where did the isolate acquire its resistance plasmid? Did the source patient have multidrug-resistant organisms in his gastrointestinal tract? Has resistance been assessed in Y. pestis strains isolated from fleas and rodents in Madagascar? Do resistant enteric bacteria exist in rats in Madagascar, as described in other regions?12 Rats are omnivorous and live in a fecally contaminated environment; therefore, plasmid-mediated transfer of resistance to Y. pestis is more likely to occur in rats that live in settings contaminated with multidrug-resistant human fecal flora than in fleas or in patients with plague.

It is not yet known whether the plasmid for multidrug resistance provides some advantage to Y. pestis in its natural cycle. If resistant strains spread in rodents, the public health implications could be substantial. Resistant strains that arise spontaneously in humans probably would not pose a major public health problem, since infected humans have no role in maintaining the natural cycle of Y. pestis and only rarely transmit infection to others through infected respiratory droplets.

What is the appropriate response to multidrug-resistant Y. pestis? Certainly, we must not be complacent. In addition to studying the molecular and genetic basis for the resistance of the Madagascar strain of Y. pestis to specific antimicrobial agents,11 we need to study the origins and evolution of this resistance. In particular, we need to understand the potential for the spread of resistant Y. pestis in its natural cycle before we can assess the public health implications of the Madagascar findings.

Specific research objectives should include determining the antimicrobial susceptibility of Y. pestis isolates from humans in areas in which plague is endemic,13 heightening surveillance for suspected treatment failures and conducting microbiologic studies of these cases, monitoring the antimicrobial susceptibility of Y. pestis in its natural cycle in Madagascar and in other areas where plague is found in rats, and evaluating alternative antimicrobial agents such as fluoroquinolones in the prophylaxis and treatment of the infection.13

Remaining alert to the spread of antimicrobial resistance in the plague bacillus and other vector-borne bacteria is critical to addressing the growing problem of emerging infections. An effective system of domestic and global surveillance and response is the first line of defense against emerging diseases. The four basic requirements of such a system are an epidemiologic capability to detect clusters of new and unusual diseases and syndromes, the ability to identify and characterize infectious agents rapidly in the laboratory, the capacity to analyze and disseminate information rapidly, and the institution of feedback mechanisms that can trigger investigative and control responses.8,14 Each of these components is critical in confronting the emergence of plague and the potential for the emergence of drug-resistant disease.

Plans to develop and implement international programs of surveillance for emerging diseases must address deficiencies in the public health infrastructure. The WHO tracks a number of globally important infectious diseases, including plague.15 The network of WHO collaborating centers with expertise in plague diagnosis, research, and training has seriously deteriorated over the past several decades. Although efforts are being made to reestablish the capabilities of these and other WHO collaborating centers,16 this will require considerable time and resources to accomplish.

The recommendations of a federal interagency working group on emerging and reemerging infectious diseases underscore the urgency of increasing domestic capacity and global preparedness, including support for the efforts of the WHO and other organizations and agencies.17 The observations of Galimand et al. provide another grim reminder that emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance in one location can pose serious problems for the entire world.8 There must be a global effort to strengthen surveillance and response capacity, support research priorities, and ensure the availability of adequate laboratory facilities, trained personnel, and diagnostic reagents. The finding of multidrug-resistant Y. pestis in Madagascar reinforces the concern expressed by an Institute of Medicine committee that the threat from the emerging infectious diseases is not to be taken lightly.8

David T. Dennis, M.D., M.P.H.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Fort Collins, CO 80522
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 6:30:26 AM EDT
Sounds like the start to a good movie.
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 6:31:42 AM EDT
Infected with plague, or Rage?

...and 28 days later...
Link Posted: 9/15/2005 6:40:13 AM EDT
Oh great...now there is a super plague......
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