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Posted: 6/7/2003 9:46:54 PM EDT
[url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30086-2003Jun7.html[/url] Pox-Like Outbreak Reported 19 Ill in Midwest; CDC Issues Alert By Rob Stein Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, June 8, 2003; Page A01 At least 19 people in three Midwestern states have contracted a disease related to smallpox, marking the first outbreak of the life-threatening illness in the United States, federal heath officials said yesterday. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concerned that the illness could spread, issued a nationwide alert to doctors and public health officials to be on the lookout for more cases. "We have an outbreak," said James Hughes, director of the CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases in Atlanta. "I'd like to keep it relatively small. I don't want any more cases. We're doing everything we can to try to contain this." The disease, known as monkeypox, usually only occurs in central and western Africa. It is caused by a virus known as an orthopox virus, which is the family of viruses that includes the smallpox virus, one of the most dangerous diseases known to man and a feared biological weapon. Officials said there was no indication that bioterrorism was involved. The disease was apparently spread by a type of rodent known as a prairie dog, which have become popular as pets. The animals may have acquired the infection from another creature, known as a Gambian giant rat, sold by the same dealer of exotic animals, officials said. The monkeypox virus causes symptoms that are very similar to smallpox -- fever, headache, cough and an extremely painful rash of pus-filled sores that spreads across the body. While much about monkeypox virus is unclear, it is not believed to be as deadly as smallpox. Monkeypox is believed to have a mortality rate of between 1 percent and 10 percent, compared with a mortality rate of about 30 percent for smallpox. The monkeypox virus is believed to spread through physical contact with a sick person or infected animal, or through infected body fluids, although it is not believed to be as easily spread as smallpox, which is highly infectious. Monkeypox is untreatable, although there is some indication that an antiviral drug may have some usefulness. Because the disease has never been seen before in this part of the world, the severity of the threat is not completely clear. All patients and infected animals have been isolated to prevent spread of the disease. The smallpox vaccine is believed to be protective against the monkeypox virus. The federal government recently launched a campaign to vaccinate thousands of emergency workers against smallpox so the country would be prepared in the event of a bioterrorist attack. "This is an unusual event. As far as we can tell, there's never been a human or animal illness in the community setting in the Western hemisphere by a virus that is either a monkeypox virus or a very close variant of the monkeypox virus," said Hughes, who held a hastily arranged telebriefing last evening to announce the outbreak after CDC scientists confirmed that a monkeypox virus or one very close to it was involved. "We've got a disease that's not been seen before in the Western Hemisphere, so it's prudent to take it very seriously," Hughes said in a telephone interview after the briefing. Of the 19 cases reported so far, four of the victims have been hospitalized; none has died, Hughes said. The outbreak came to light on May 16, when a 3 1/2-year-old child became ill, according to John Melski, who treated the child at the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wis. The child's parents had bought two prairie dogs as a Mother's Day present for the child's mother. Both the mother and father subsequently became ill as well, although all appear to have recovered. Officials determined that the prairie dogs had been purchased from a Villa Park, Ill., exotic pet dealer, who also became ill. The dealer also had a Gambian rat, which was ill. It is believed that animal passed the virus to the prairie dogs the dealer was selling. The dealer sold the animals to SK Exotics, a Milwaukee pet distributor, which then sold the apparently infected prairie dogs to two pet stores in Milwaukee and at a "pet swap" in northern Wisconsin. Most of the rest of the cases have been reported in the Milwaukee area, and are believed to have involved people who either worked at the stores or who handled the animals in the stores. Seventeen of the cases occurred in Milwaukee, with one case each having been reported in Illinois and Indiana. Melski and his colleagues at the Marshfield Clinic contacted state health officials when they identified what appeared to be an orthopox virus in the sick family. State health officials then contacted the CDC, which confirmed the involvement of a monkeypox-like virus yesterday, prompting the nationwide alert and telebriefing. The state of Wisconsin has temporarily banned the sale of prairie dogs. "The full impact is hard to predict," said Seth Foldy, Milwaukee's health commissioner. "Our goal would be to isolate and eliminate the virus from both human and animal populations to the best of our ability. We do not know if it is the kind of agent that would or could thrive in North America, and we're not very interested in finding out that it is." Further tests are planned to confirm the identity of the virus. The outbreak comes as the global epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) appears to be coming under control. "This is yet another reminder of why it's important to learn as much as you can about diseases that occur in faraway places," Hughes said. © 2003 The Washington Post Company
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 10:03:00 PM EDT
A girl I work with just had all her fingernails fall off. No shit. Turned out to be a bad light sensitivity reaction to the Tetracycline she had been taking for Lymes disease. She sunburned the skin under her fingernails because of the antibio's she was taking. Anyway, I thought she had contracted some weird terrorist bioweapon.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 10:04:20 PM EDT
Mc --> I've gotta assume that you will NOT hit it, right? [:D]
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 10:08:55 PM EDT
Christ... I'd give a years pay to hit this one. She is honestly a 9 on a scale of 1-10. Sweet as a peach, kind, caring, and totally not interested in me [lol][banghead][lol]
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 10:10:28 PM EDT
It's agood thing the rat and other infected animals didn't escape, makes you wonder what's coming our way next.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 11:05:31 PM EDT
I hope they get this under control, fast. While it may not be as deadly as smallpox proper, a 1-10% mortality rate is far too friggin high. What the hell is up with all of this shit lately anyway? While this story seems unrelated to bioterror, it sure does make you wonder with all that has happened since 9/11.....anthrax, West Nile, SAR's, now this shit. At least maybe these things will help us to better prepare and be ready, just in case they do try to spring something on us like that. These viruses are some scary shit.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 11:07:08 PM EDT
Once again, rodents are not pets - they are vermin.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 12:38:15 AM EDT
Just another post to keep this one from falling to the second page. I can't believe a fairly serious disease, foreign to the US, is getting so few responses. I could post a thread about something silly and it would go to 10 pages! LOL, go figure.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 12:52:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Once again, rodents are not pets - they are vermin.
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Targets.[:D]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 1:00:26 AM EDT
I am NEVER going to Marshfield again!!!!!! Which is a bummer cuz there is some damn good places to eat there. Last time I was there I gained twenty pounds....but with monkeypox flying around!!!Forget it. Monkeypox!! Sheesh...why couldn't it have been goat pox, or aardvark pox, or black footed ferret pox??? Nooooo...it's gotta be MONKEYPOX.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 1:35:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By desertmoon: ... Monkeypox!! Sheesh...why couldn't it have been goat pox, or aardvark pox, or black footed ferret pox??? Nooooo...it's gotta be MONKEYPOX.
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... I'd bet that the [b]Planet of the Apes[/b] series gave you nightmares. ???
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 3:25:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 3:25:44 AM EDT by mzzlebrk]
EXTRA! EXTRA! Just announced - The world is coming to an end from disease. Get your red hot medical face shields here first. Only $19.95 a piece.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 3:26:43 AM EDT
What do you think the Gvt would say if there was a smallpox terror strike that started small? Something similar to this?
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 4:17:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ar10er:
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Once again, rodents are not pets - they are vermin.
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Targets.[:D]
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[red]MOVING[/red] targets![:D]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:30:01 AM EDT
Just remember, since 9-11 everything has been an "isolated incident" having NO connection to terrorism. No need to worry. We have the situation well in hand. Uh, yeah.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 6:14:08 AM EDT
Another non terrosrist related outbreak of an extremely rare, deadly disease. I don't buy it. I wonder if the rodent story is just a cover to keep our thoughts away from bioterrorism, who on earth buys prairie dogs and Gambian giant rats as pets. Also, it wouldn't be beyond my belief that terrorists are using our love for furry pets against us by injecting them with deadly diseases before they are sold to American families. That would be a very effective avenue of approach for them, considering the obscene amount of house pets we have in the USA.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 6:56:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter: What do you think the Gvt would say if there was a smallpox terror strike that started small? Something similar to this?
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something along the lines of
Pox-Like Outbreak Reported 19 Ill in Midwest; CDC Issues Alert
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Link Posted: 6/8/2003 7:05:42 AM EDT
All i now is that they better get this cleaned up and cleared up before summerfest starts!
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 7:29:23 AM EDT
This is the shit that happens when people keep vermin as pets ! The story mentioned that Wisconsin has banned the sell of Prairie Dogs.... what about the Gambian giant RAT!!!! Better yet, just ban people from keeping vermin as pets! dumasses... LB
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 7:30:17 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 7:38:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FrankSquid: Shouldn't the PITA people be nursing the little rats back to life?
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LOL Frank! I'm sure they will hold some sort of vigil for the poor fallen rats.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 7:43:59 AM EDT
Yeah, all of these diseases popping up do make one suspicious. And hey, what about the plane that nose dived into the LA apartment complex Friday? Anyone ever hear who the pilot was or what caused the crash? Was it mechanical failure?
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 7:59:42 AM EDT
Man. Now I wish there were prarie dogs that lived up in this neck of the country. I saw footage from that exploding varmints video. Pest control sure does look like a lot of fun [:D]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 8:56:44 AM EDT
I'm crankin' out .223 and 22-250 as fast as I can to try and slow the spread of the dreaded monkey pox. Just doin' my part. Crash.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 9:10:43 AM EDT
I see no reason to be concerned with disease-carrying rodents. What I DO worry about are rodents carrying .50 BMG sniper rifles. That's why I'm thinking of moving to L.A., where I'll be safe. [rolleyes]
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