NOTICE: All information on these pages is your choice as to response. Steve Van
Nattan is not any kind of an authority on anything for anyone.
PLAGUE AND ITS CURE
Saddam Hussein has been
producing plague germ stockpiles in Iraq as well as in a plant in Sudan he built
for the Sudanese Fanatical Muslim Government. This IS one disease we must
21, 2002-- This article was written about a two years BEFORE the World Trade Center
was attacked. I feel I must put these articles back up on the journal. I believe
I have a better than average ability to understand the Muslim and Arab mind, so
I have a responsibility to tell you how I see it.
PLAGUE-- (bubonic plague, pneumonic plague)
What is plague?
Plague is a serious illness caused by bacteria
called Yersinia pestis. The disease is carried by rodents (i.e., rats and mice)
and their fleas, which can then transmit the disease to humans as well as to other
animals. Plague is very rare in the United States, but cases are still reported
in the southwestern states of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and California.
The most common form of plague is bubonic plague which affects the body's lymph
nodes. When the infection involves the lungs, the disease is called pneumonic
How do you get it?
You can get plague from the
bite of infected fleas or by a scratch or bite while handling infected animals.
You can also get it by breathing in airborne droplets from people who have the
plague infection in their lungs or from infected household pets.
Balaam's Ass Speaks-- The problem in germ warfare is that the
plague is distributed on the wind and inhaled. This gets it into the blood
and lungs, and the progress of the disease is more rapid. Thus, the drug cures
must be ON HAND, and they must be started at once as symptoms appear.
What are the symptoms of plague?
The first symptoms of bubonic
plague include the sudden onset of fever with painful swelling of the lymph nodes,
called bubos in the areas closest to the flea bite (typically, in the groin, armpit,
or neck). Chills, muscle-aches, weakness, fatigue, nausea, and headache may also
occur. If the infection spreads to the lungs, it produces pneumonia that is highly
contagious and often, fata. Pneumonic plague is characterized by fever, swelling
of the lymph nodes, cough, chest pain, and frequently, blood in the saliva.
When do symptoms start?
The symptoms of plague begin 1 to 7
days following the bite of an infected flea.
What is the treatment
Antibiotics can be prescribed by a doctor to treat plague.
It is extremely important to detect and treat the disease early in its course.
If left untreated, about half of those with bubonic plague will die. Prompt treatment
can reduce the case fatality to less than 5%. Persons who are infected with pneumonic
plague should be quarantined for 3 full days of medical therapy.
do you keep from getting it?
Avoid rat-infested areas if possible.
If you go to areas where plague is endemic (an ongoing problem), take precautions
to protect yourself against rodents and their fleas.
with sick or dead animals found on the roadside or in the woods. The risk of being
bitten by infected fleas is high when plague infection kills large numbers of
rodents. The infected and starving fleas aggressively look for new hosts.
Carefully supervise the activities of all children and household pets (i.e.,
dogs and cats) when outdoors in forest/picnic areas where rodents make their nests.
International travelers to a plague-endemic area (areas reported to
have an ongoing plague problem) are generally at low risk for infection for Y.
pestis. If you are travelling to a plague endemic area call your doctor or the
Health Department for advice.
Report all suspected plague cases promptly
to your doctor or to the Department of Health.
"Return to Navigating
the Communicable Diseases - Table of Contents"
I OFFER A
SECOND AND RATHER INTERSETING PRESENTATION:
Authored by Demetres
Velendzas, MD, Emergency Medicine, Department of Traumatology & Emergency
Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center and Susan Dufel, MD, FACEP,
Residency Director, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Traumatology
& Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut Medical Center
The plague has
caused more fear and terror than perhaps any other infectious disease in the history
of mankind. It has laid claim to nearly 200 million lives and has brought about
monumental changes such as the end of the Dark Ages and the advancement of clinical
research in medicine. Although it is still debated by historians, the plague has
been responsible for three great pandemics in history. The first spread from the
Middle East to the Mediteranean basin during the 5th and 6th century AD, killing
approximately 50% of the population in these areas.
The second pandemic
afflicted Europe between the 8th and 14th century wiping out nearly 40% of the
population of Europe. The 3rd pandemic started around 1855 in China and spread
to every major continent. It was during this pandemic in 1894 that Alexandre Yersin
isolated the plague bacillus, developed an antiserum to combat the disease, and
postulated its connnection with fleas and rats.
The plague bacillus
was named Yersinia Pestis in his commemoration. These pandemics have suceeded
in entrenching the plague in every major continent, with the possible exception
of Australia. Unlike smallpox, the plague will never be eradicated. It lives in
millions of animals and on billions of fleas that reside on them. It is a disease
of the desert, the steppes, the mountain, and the forest. The epidemic in India
in October of 1994, which affected nearly 600,000 residents, is a reminder of
the ease with which the plague can escape medical control.
The exact pathophysiology of the plague
is unknown. The etiologic agent is Yersinia Pestis, an aerobic, facultatively
anaerobic, intracellular gram negative bacillus. The organism can be transmitted
from a host to a human via the bite of a vector. There are more than 200 different
rodents and species that can serve as hosts. These include domestic cats, dogs,
squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, deer mice, rabbits, hares, rock squirrels, camels,
The vector is usually the rat flea, Xenopsylla Cheopis.
Thirty different species have been identified as able to carry the plague bacillus,
however, including ticks and human louses. Rodents that are resistant to the infection
form an enzootic stage that assures the long term survival of the bacillus. Occasionally,
the infected animals are not resistant to the disease and die. This is known as
an epizootic stage and it ensures the spread of the organism to new territory.
A sylvatic stage occurs when humans are infected from wild animals. Transmission
is not only vector mediated, but may occur via inhalation of aerosilized
bacilli or close contact with infected tissue or fluid.
The bacillus proliferates in the fleas esophagus preventing food entry into the
stomach. To overcome starvation, the flea begins a blood sucking rampage. Between
its attempts to swallow, the distended bacillus - packed esophagus recoils, depositing
the bacillus into the victims skin. The bacillus invades nearby lymphoid tissue
producing the famous bubo - an inflamed, necrotic, and hemorrhagic lymph node.
Spread occurs along the lymphatic channels towards the thoracic duct
with the eventual seeding of the vasculature. Bacteremia and septicemia ensue.
The bacillus potentially seeds every organ including the lungs, liver, spleen,
kidney, and rarely the meninges. Direct inhalation of the bacillus results in
pneumonic plague and subsequent bacteremia and septicemia. The bacillus causes
a multilobar hemorrhagic and necrotizing bronchopneumonia.
type of plague is primary septicemic plague. It is hypothesized that this occurs
when the bacillus is deposited early in the vasculature bypassing the lymphatics.
There is early dissemination with sepsis without the formation of a bubo. This
is usually seen in bites to the oral, tonsillar, and pharyngeal area and is believed
to occur because of the short lymphatic distance to the thoracic duct.
In the U.S.: An average of 18 cases per year
have been reported during the last few decades. The prairie dog repopulation of
the southwestern plains that had been depleted by an epizootic stage is nearly
complete. There is some evidence to suggest that a new epizootic stage is begining
with higher sylvatic infections being reported since 1992. West of the 100th parallel,
in states like New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and California there exists
one of the largest animal foci of the plague worldwide. It is of note that only
one case of imported plague has been reported since 1926.
Between 1967 and 1993 there have been annually an average of 1,666 cases of the
plague reported by the World Health Organization. The number of actual cases is
probably much higher given the failure of many countries to diagnose and report
the plague. In decreasing order the following countries reported the most cases
of the plague since 1979: Tanzania, Vietnam, Zaire, Peru, Madagascar, Burma, Brazil,
Uganda, China, and the United States.
Bubonic Plague has 1-15% mortality in treated cases and a
40 - 60% mortality in untreated cases. Septicemic plague (either primary
or secondary) has 40% mortality in treated cases and a 100% mortality in untreated
cases. Pneumonic plague (either primary or secondary) has a 100% mortality
if not treated within the first 24 hours of infection.
Greater than 50% of cases occur in males.
Approximately 50% of cases occur in persons less
than 20 years of age.
travel in the southwestern and pacific coast regions of the United States, particularly
in New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Utah should raise suspicion of a flea
bite. Although imported plague is rare, similar suspicion should exist for any
recent travel in endemic areas outside the US.
Close contact with
any potentially infected host or rural environment should raise suspicion for
the plague. Although historically the rat has been thought to be the main plague
host, currently in the United States, the ground and rock squirrel are the most
common hosts. It is also noteworthy that in recent years the domestic cat has
emerged as a prominent host that transmits the plague to veterinarians.
Fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, and weakness.
painful, swollen "node"
Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting (bloody at
times), constipation or diarrhea, black or tarry stools. It is noteworthy that
gastrointestinal complaints may precede the development of a bubo.
Cough which may be productive of bloody sputum.
Shortness of breath
Stiff neck (if meningitic infiltration by the plague bacillus has
of 37 - 40.9 C, tachycardia, tachypnea, hypotension if in late septic shock.
Inguinal bubo (60%), axillary bubo (30%), cervical (10%), or epitrochlear
(10%). Bubo's are usually no greater than 5 cm, extremely tender and erythematous,
and surrounded by a boggy hemorrhagic area.
At the site of the flea
bite there may be a maculo - papular lesion. Other dermatologic findings include
vesicles, pustules, skin cyanosis of extremites (digits, penis, nares), ecchymosis,
and petechiae (from DIC). It is thought the name "black death" originated because
of the (black) cyanotic color of the necrotic limbs of infected individuals.
Diffuse crackles, diffuse areas of dullness to percussion (secondary to
the patchy consolidation of pneumonic plague), hemoptysis
abdominal tenderness, with or without guarding, splenomegaly, hematochezia or
heme positive stools
Nuchal rigidity, diffuse muscle and joint tenderness
Various degrees of mental status changes, ranging from mild confusion
or agitation to delirium and coma
from any body site or cavity, ie. hematemesis, hematochezia, hemoptysis.
Gangrene and necrosis of areas like the digits, penis, nares. (This is
a phenomenon ascribed to peripheral thrombosis secondary to DIC and cyanosis)
Crystalloid infusion to maintain normal vital signs
and clinical hydration state.
Oxygen administration via nasal cannula,
non - rebreather mask, or intubation, as determined by the respiratory
distress of the patient. Pulse oximetry can be used to monitor the degree of respiratory
Health care personel should assume universal precautions when dealing with any
patient with an infectious diseasepresentation. This should include goggles, gloves,
and gown. If respiratory symptoms are present masks should be worn.
Emergency Department Care:
Depending on the stage of presentation supportive care will vary. Early presentation
may only require crystalloid administration with monitoring of vital signs, clinical
state, and urine output. Septic shock would require invasive hemodynamic monitoring
with crystalloid and vasopressor agents. Airway managment may require intubation
and mechanical ventilation with PEEP.
Empiric Antibiotic Coverage
(see next section)
Strict Isolation Precautions
symptoms are present universal precautions must be instituted with strict respiratory
isolation for the first 72 hours of therapy. If no respiratory symptoms are present
only 48 hours of isolation are needed or until there is no purulent drainage by
the bubo. All contaminated material should be incinerated or autoclaved.
Infectious Disease Specialist
Early notification of the Centers For Disease Control will allow samples
to be sent to the headquarters in Colorado for diagnosis by fluorscent antibody
testing. In addition, the CDC in conjunction with the Department of Health will
attempt to identify the source of the plague and implement early epidemiologic
control measures to control a potential epidemic.
In most cases of the plague some degree of septic shock will be present.
Invasive hemodynamic monitoring and close observation of fluid and cardiac status
will require admission to a Medical Intensive Care Unit.
Medical management of the Plague can involve
a myraid of supportive medications, including crystalloids, colloids, medications
used for intubation, vasopressor agents, antiulcer, and antipyretic agents. This
section will only cover the antibiotic management of the plague. It is essential
that antibiotics be given early, after samples for diagnostic purposes have been
Drug Category: Antibiotics - Drugs that cover
Y. Pestis should be empirically given to any patient with predisposing risk factors,
signs and symptoms of the plague.
Drug Name: Streptomycin -
Streptomycin is the drug of choice in combination with tetracycline or chloramphenicol.
Because of the drugs toxicity it is usually discontinued after the first five
days of treatment and tetracycline (or chloramphenicol) is continued alone for
the remaining course. Streptomycin is a class D antibiotic for pregnancy. Given
the high mortality of the plague, however, streptomycin and chlorapmhenical are
the antibiotics of choice for the treatment of the plague in a pregnant patient.
Adult Dose: 30mg/kg/day IM divided either bid,tid,or qid Maximum
daily dose 2g
Pediatric: 20-30mg/kg/day IM divided either bid, tid,
Note - newborn infants with transplacental infection by the
plague should receive gentamycin instead.
in a documented aminoglyside hypersensitivity reaction
Synergistic toxicity with other ototoxic,nephrotoxic and peripheral neuromuscula
Pregnancy: D - Unsafe in pregnancy
renal funtion ( may need dose adjustment)
Tetracycline (Sumycin, Tetracyn IV): Drug of choice for use with
streptomycin for the first five days of treatment (or until the patient is afebrile)
and alone for the remaining course.(Marcus 1989)
15mg/kg (maximum 1g) po loading dose; 40-50mg/kg po q4 hours day 1; 30mg/kg po
q 6hours for a total of 10 - 14 days of therapy; if oral therapy not tolerated
may give IV 5mg/kg iv loading dose; 15mg/kg iv q4hours day 1; 5mg/kg iv q6hours
for the remainding treatment; May switch to po at any time if patient can tolerate
Pedistric Dose: If the suspicion of the plague is high some authors
recommend similar dosages and regimens for all pediatric cases, even children
less than 8 years old.
Contraindications: Pregnancy, Children
less than 8 years of age
Interactions: Other nephrotoxic and hepatoxic
Pregnancy: D - Unsafe in pregnancy
Renal insufficiency, liver disease, use with dairy products and Fe salts
Drug Name: Chloramphenicol (chloromycetin)
- Drug of choice to be used instead of tetracycline, in plague meningitis (better
CNS penetrations), profound hypotension, pleural or pericardial involvement, and
in the pregnant patient.
Adult Dose: 50 - 100 mg/kg/qd iv divided
q6hours; 30 mg/kg/qd po divided q6 hours may be substituted instead of iv for
the last 5 days of therapy
Pediatric: Infant 0-7 days 25 mg/kg
po or iv qd; Infant >7 days 50 mg/kg/qd po or iv divided q12 hours
Contraindications: No absolute contraindications. Careful in pregnancy,
with breast- feeding, hepa
Interactions: May increase effects
of warfarin, phenytoin, chlorpropamide, and tolbutamide
C - Safety for use during pregnancy has not been established
Precautions: May cause anemia, aplastic anemia, childhood leukemia,
and grey - baby syndrome
Category: Prophylactic antibiotics - This is how to take the drug if Plague is
in the area or you know a terrorist release of the toxin has taken l\place where
you were present.
[ Editor: Balaam's Ass Speaks--
If the plague is active in your area in epidemic proportions, I suggest
you take one 500 mg of Tetracycline a day, on an empty stomach, as a
All contacts with the bubonic or septicemic plague
should be placed under surveillance. At first sign of illness (fever, adenopathy,
etc.) regular antibiotic treatment should be started. Household contacts of patients
with the bubonic or septicemic plague may have been exposed to the same fleas
so antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended. Prophylaxis is also indicated for all
contacts with patients with the pneumonic plague, ie. emergency department and
Drug Name: Tetracycline - DOC in adults and children
greater than 8 years of age.
Adult Dose: 25 - 50 mg/kg/day po
Pediatric: 250 mg po qid for 5-10 days
Contraindications: pregnancy, children less than 8 years of age,
Dairy products and Fe salts may reduce GI absorption.
D - Unsafe in pregnancy
Precautions: May increase azotemia
in patients with prior renal insufficiency.
Editor: Balaam's Ass Speaks-- The doctor
has to tell you that the drugs are a problem for pregnant women. If you
know a lady you live has become infected with the plague, you will want to do
one of the following:
1. Contact a doctor and see if you can
get medical help for the lady.
IF THAT CANNOT BE DONE DUE TO CHAOS:
2. Start the course and take the risk. The lady will certainly
die if she was infected by breathing in the toxin, and if you do nothing. You
should be aware that the baby could be born with problems though.
Cure of choice if you have no opportunity to follow the details above- Tetracycline--
Double the first two day's doses and then follow normal dosing. 600 mg a
day on empty stomach circa two hours after a meal. Exception is Doxyciline
and Minocycline which can be taken with food. 40 pills of 500 to 600 mg
each should be taken over a maximum of a 10 day period. The Dr. in Mexico
suggested 500 mg every 6 to 8 hours.
* * * *
THE REST OF THE ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:
DURING ATTACKS AND PANIC
COMPLETE DISCUSSION OF PANIC AND BIO ATTACKS RESPONSE
DISCUSSION OF BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AND THE USE OF TOXINS
AS BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AND ITS CURE
AS BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AND ITS CURE
TERRORIST ATTACK AND HOW TO PREVENT AND CURE IT
NO CURE-- Prelude to Armageddon
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