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smurfygirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:37 AM
Original message
Mice infected with plague missing from lab....
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/15/missing.mice.ap/index....

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- Three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague apparently disappeared from a laboratory about two weeks ago, and authorities launched a search though health experts said there was scant public risk.

The mice were unaccounted-for at the Public Health Research Institute, which is on the campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and conducts bioterrorism research for the federal government.

Federal officials said the mice may never be accounted for. Among other things, the rodents may have been stolen, eaten by other lab animals or just misplaced in a paperwork error.

If the mice got outside the lab, they would have already died from the disease, state Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs said.

The possibility of theft prompted the institute to interrogate two dozen of its employees and conduct lie detector tests, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported Thursday.

The FBI said it was investigating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating, the newspaper reported.



more at above link...


GOD I FEEL SAFE IN BUSH"S AMERICA.
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I_Make_Mistakes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. But the UMDNJ rep. said that they would be in dead in 3 days and
there is no public health issue. What a joke, they are doing lie detectors on any personnel with access to these mice. God forbid, they fell into the wrong hands. I agree, it is probably likely they are not, but how dare someone of authority say, "Not a problem!". When they have no f*ing clue!
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klebean Donating Member (268 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. ha! this is yet another cock up as a result of no bid crony contracts
"The incident came as federal authorities investigate possible corruption in the school's finances. The FBI is reviewing political donations and millions of dollars in no-bid contracts awarded to politically connected firms."
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
3. Fleas. Fleas spread the plague.
Edited on Fri Sep-16-05 12:52 AM by NYC
Just because the three little mice die does not mean the threat of spreading is over. Insects or other carcass eaters may catch it.

The rats spread the plague through Europe because they transported the fleas who spread the plague. The rats were merely transportation.

The Plague by Albert Camus. On the opening page, the first sign of plague is that the rat shows up dead/dying. Fleas spread the plague. Rodents and humans are victims.
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Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
4. All recovered
Two dead, One live. No link, but I did hear it on ABC radio news.
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Did they have any flea bites?
I wonder how far they got.
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Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I'd be equally concerned about cat bites...
How do people get plague?

By the bites of infected fleas
By direct contact with the tissues or body fluids of a plague infected animal
By inhaling infectious airborne droplets from persons or animals, especially cats, with plague pneumonia
By laboratory exposure to plague bacteria
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. Bubonic plague is pretty common in the wild
I'm not sure it poses too great of a risk of an epidemic these days. It's treated with antibiotics now and easily controlled.
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Bingo...this is the correct answer.....n/t
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I have an article on one of my websites
that might make you less sanguine:
"Bubonic Plague: Yesterday's Scourge--and Tomorrow's?"
http://www.salvoblue.homestead.com/plague.html

Here are the last few paragraphs:
<snip> Their complacency is far from warranted. In the first place, rodenticides and insecticides used to control rat and flea populations in urban areas are no longer as effective as they once were. In several U.S. cities, between one-fourth and one-half of all rats and mice are now resistant to warfarin and to other chemical agents used to control them. DDT is no longer as effective in flea control, and, besides, it is widely banned in the advanced nations.


In the second place, it may not be long before antibiotics used to treat plague become completely useless against the disease. In 1998, the first case of human plague that showed total resistance to all known antibiotics was reported. Even one such strain of resistant P. pestis could spell catastrophe. Once a bacterium develops resistance to a drug, that resistance soon spreads to all such bacteria by a process called "infectious drug resistance." Some bacteria carry an "R" (for "resistance") factor, and can pass their resistance along, not only to the same bacteria, but even to other bacteria altogether.


Escherichia coli, the common colon bacillus, is frequently resistant to one or more antimicrobial drugs. Some strains of E. coli are resistant to all known antimicrobials. And E. coli often carry R factors. So a common bacterium found in the human body and in river water all over the world can pass antimicrobial resistance to a wide variety of disease-causing organisms--including P. pestis.


If an outbreak of multiply resistant plague occurs anywhere in the world, the chances are high that it will spread globally. Should that occur, our innumerable large urban centers are at great risk for epidemic plague, not only because crowded urban conditions are ideal for establishing a plague epidemic, but also because so many rodents and fleas have developed resistance to the rodenticides and insecticides we would normally use to control their populations.


The fourth great bubonic plague pandemic could occur at almost any time. If and when it does, its effects will be far more devastating than those of the Black Death.


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SlowDownFast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Yes there has been somewhat of an epidemic
in Colorado with squirrels and birds. Newscasts are constantly warning not to pick up dead ones. I think the prarie dogs carry it too, but don't quote me on that.
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I've heard of issues with prairie dogs, too.
Lucky for us modern medicine keeps such epidemics from spreading through humans nowadays.

A lot of people think we've eliminated bubonic plague in the wild, the truth is we just treat it with antibiotics now when it appears in humans.
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I_Make_Mistakes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Ok. Point missed. What ever disease being tested, there have
been lapses in their prevention of spread and recovery of infected specimens. It's like Katrina, if BB Plague was released, would anyone die, before the cause was understood by Homeland Security and the antibiotic treatment vastly dispersed. Sometimes, we live in a bubble of possibilities, if that bubble bursts, what then?
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. You can't release something into the wild that already exist there
It's just not that uncommon. Where you have rodents you have a risk of bubonic plague already. There are around 15 people per year treated for it in the US alone. It doesn't spread like it used to due to the use of antibiotics.

I know nothing about the facility in question, which is why I didn't comment on it. It's good that the CDC and the FBI are investigating this, IMO. This should never have been allowed to happen, if that's what you mean, then I agree. However, this particular issue isn't a big one.

Hopefully they will learn their lesson from this and we won't have a big one. If they don't, then Stephen King was a prophet.

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Lethe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
13. dont even be worried about this.....
bubonic plague is not even a threat anymore because of anti-biotics.

if you remember a couple years ago a professor at Texas Tech University (i was there at the time) was arrested by the FBI for "stealing" vials of bubonic plague from the health sciences center. Oh the national news made a HUGE deal of it, and basically crucified this professor. (he was using them for his research or something)

after the sensationalism wore off, we had experts debunking the dangers of bubonic plague.

Yes, we've all heard Prarie dogs can carry the plague, so what, anything can carry the plague. Everybody needs to just lay off the prarie dogs for a change, they arent hurting anyone. (coincidentally, there is a huge population of Prarie dog towns in lubbock where TTU is) You guys dont even know what the farmers and ranchers do to these poor animals. They poison them, and at the same time, pollute the water table with the same poisons. They trap them. They actually hire people to come shoot them with 22 caliber rifles. The farmers usually say some stupid shit like "my cow twisted an ankle in the dog hole." Bullshit, a cow is smart enough to not step in a huge prarie dog hole. They just want to kill them.

Bah!


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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-05 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
15. Oh gosh...
:\ This is horrible. :cry:
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