Friday, July 18, 2014

de plague! de plague!

conspiracy page Newsmax reports that there are three more cases of pneumonic plague in Colorado. wapost article here

Originally there were two cases: A man and his dog, and the dog probably caught it from the fleas.

I should really not call the paranoid right wing Newsmax a "conspiracy site" since their article doesn't attribute the plague to escaped biowarfare stuff. Indeed, recent reports of (HORRORS) ANTHRAX being found in unmarked refrigerators shows how these thing tend to get exaggerated.

Hello: Anthrax is present in half the barnyards of the US middle west. It's spores live in dirt. But unless you eat it (which is why elephants died in Zimbabwe and had conpsiracy theorists blaming the west) or get it into an open cut in your hand, it just isn't that infectious. You have to process the spore to make it small enough to enter the lungs. Which is why a lot of us think the blaming of the anthrax letters on a rogue scientist was a cover up: he did have access to anthrax, but NOT to the machines that would allow him to weaponize the stuff. Nor did he know how to use the machines without killing himself.

as for plague, this is alas found in local prarie dogs in the moutain states. When I worked for the IHS, we had to keep this and hanta virus in the differential diagnosis of our patient, since an Indian who had hunted would come into the ER once or twice a year.

Tony Hillerman even has a mystery thriller on it, although in his book, the plaugue was superplague.

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