ZOONOTIC --- Wildlife Plague

Washington State

  1. What is Plague?

         "Plague is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Depending on lung infection, or sanitary conditions, plague can be spread in the air, by direct contact, or very rarely by contaminated undercooked food. The symptoms of plague depend on the concentrated areas of infection in each person: bubonic plague in lymph nodes, septicemic plague in blood vessels, pneumonic plague in lungs. It is treatable if detected early. Plague is still relatively common in some remote parts of the world. Until June 2007, plague was one of the three epidemic diseases specifically reportable to the World Health Organization (cholera and yellow fever the other two).[1] The bacterium is named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin."(1)


  2. History Surveillanc Report

    "This image shows the distribution of animals tested and those that tested positive plague by county from July 1975 through June 2014. With the exception of San Juan County, specimens have been collected from animals in each county of the state. Over this time period, plague activity has been detected in 22 counties. While the majority of plague activity has occurred in eastern counties, positive plague samples have also been detected in western counties including Jefferson, Pacific, Lewis, Thurston, and Whatcom."(2)

  3. WHY Plague?

    "Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down."(3)

    To explain the song,"a "rosy" rash is the first symptom of plague; individuals often carried "a pocketful of posies" (herbs and spices) to sweeten the foul air; "ashes" refer to the cleansing bonfires and "all fall down" describes people dying off in droves. Given this information, will any of us ever feel the same about this childhood rhyme?"

  4. Prevention&Treatment

    1.Vaccine,"A systematic review by the Cochrane Collaboration found no studies of sufficient quality to make any statement on the efficacy of the vaccine. Waldemar Haffkine, a doctor who worked in Bombay, India, was the first to invent and test a plague vaccine against bubonic plague in 1897."(4)

    2."If diagnosed in time the various forms of plague are usually highly responsive to antibiotic therapy. The antibiotics often used are streptomycin, chloramphenicol and tetracycline. Amongst the newer generation of antibiotics, gentamicin and doxycycline have proven effective in monotherapeutic treatment of plague."(5) But there will still be drug resistance developted by the disease.

  5. Biological weapon

    Plague is an important issue because it also has a long history as a biological weapons!

    "Historical accounts from ancient China and medieval Europe detail the use of infected animal carcasses, such as cows or horses, and human carcasses, by the Xiongnu/Huns, Mongols, Turks, and other groups, to contaminate enemy water supplies. Han Dynasty General Huo Qubing is recorded to have died of such a contamination while engaging in warfare against the Xiongnu. Plague victims were also reported to have been tossed by catapult into cities under siege."(6)

  6. Reference

    1.Notification and other reporting requirements under the IHR (2005),WHO

    2.Plague in Washington, Washington government

    3.The Plague,Kris Dollard, Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley

    4.Waldemar Haffkine, a doctor who worked in Bombay, India, was the first to invent and test a plague vaccine against bubonic plague in 1897.

    5.Mwengee W; Butler, Thomas; Mgema, Samuel; Mhina, George; Almasi, Yusuf; Bradley, Charles; Formanik, James B.; Rochester, C. George (2006). "Treatment of Plague with Genamicin or Doxycycline in a Randomized Clinical Trial in Tanzania". Clin Infect Dis. 42 614-21.

    6.Wheelis M. (2002). "Biological warfare at the 1346 siege of Caffa". Emerg Infect Dis. Center for Disease Control. 8 971-5.



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