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Rare Germ Found in D.C., but No Terror Fears (Tularemia - during protests)

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katamaran Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:42 PM
Original message
Rare Germ Found in D.C., but No Terror Fears (Tularemia - during protests)
Cross-posted in LBN...http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/Health/story?id=1174699

(snip)

Sept. 30, 2005 -- A relatively rare biological agent has been detected in air filters serving Washington D.C. in recent weeks, ABC News has learned but current evidence does not show any indication whatsoever of terrorism.

The federal government found six air filters around the nation's capital checked on Sept. 24 and 25 contained "trace amounts" of tularemia, a type of bacteria.

The tests were conducted as part of routine homeland security procedures, in which selected air filters from around the nation's capital are checked for chemical and biological agents.


(snip)

More at link.

Interesting that Homeland Security just happened to be checking the bioterror sensors during the protests...
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is also less alarmist.
(snip
About 200 human cases of the disease are reported in the United States each year. The disease, also known as "rabbit fever," can be treated with several common antibiotics.

Tularemia is a naturally occurring disease typically transmitted by rodents and dead carcasses, and has been reported in the past in all U.S. states except Hawaii. Homeland security and FBI officials say no human illnesses have been reported, and that the health risk is low.

No additional traces have been detected since Sept. 24 and 25. One law enforcement official said drought conditions in Washington and heavy pedestrian traffic may have sent particles airborne. No biodefense sensors have gone off.
(snip)
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tompayne1 Donating Member (346 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. A bit more alarmist
Rabbit Fever is very very nasty stuff and can disable and debilitate in mere hours. i don't think it was terrorism but still.
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katamaran Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I don't think terror either
Like the article says, it may have just been kicked up from the dust by all the people. I just find timing interesting. What better way to smear Dems, liberals and anti-war protestors by releasing a terror agent while a couple hundred thousand of them are gathered together.

On second thought, it would be a way for the Repubs to look bad too...at least, worse than they look already.
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. But the infection rate is very low.
I'm not sure exactly what the story signifies. Maybe just another example of Government Induced Paranoia. But it's also something we apparently could come into contact with almost anywhere.
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Oh man was it dusty around the Book Fair and leading to the Monument.
Seriously dusty at times.
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Beam Me Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Q. What is tularemia?
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 10:47 PM by Beam Me Up
A. Tularemia, also known as "rabbit fever," is a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Tularemia is typically found in animals, especially rodents, rabbits, and hares. Tularemia is usually a rural disease and has been reported in all U.S. states except Hawaii.

More: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/tularemia/faq.asp
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Corgigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. No additional traces have been detected since Sept. 24 and 25
Fuckers.

Yeah I'm sorry but its applicable.
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. several Representatives act like rabbits: will they be affected?
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. as for this BS about a drought
it drizzled for a good chunk of the day on saturday. wans't much that was dry
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. There was dust all around the monument even with the drizzle.
We walked back after participating in the march and the dust was thick simply from people walking around and the few golfcarts.
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. the ground I sat on at the ellipse was bone-dry
it didn't start drizzling until at least 2hrs after the 11:30 rally--well into the march.
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Dunvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. Could a Moderator Please Consider Combining the Tularemia Threads?
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 12:52 PM by Dunvegan
We've got a lot of them and a lot of links and background information, but it's scatterd through about four or five threads now.

There's a gumbo of different information, and in different threads.

It would be nice to see it all in one place to help us sort out the incoming data.

====================================================================

http://www.watchfarscape.com/forums/archive/index.php/t...

Tularemia is the one pathogen that has shown false-positives in city-wide air sensors.

Quoted from the Washington Post - 11-14-2003

"Homeland defense officials yesterday partially lifted the cloak of secrecy surrounding a network of outdoor air-sampling sensors in 31 cities that is designed to warn officials within hours of any attempt by terrorists to release deadly microbes into the atmosphere.

*snip*

"It has had no "false positives," or cases of labs mistakenly concluding that pathogens were present.

"But an unnecessary alarm was raised last month in Houston. Repeated lab tests detected the presence of tularemia, a deadly pathogen carried by rabbits. Soon, though, officials concluded there had been no attack.

Instead, the machinery had detected tiny amounts of tularemia naturally present in the atmosphere. Scientists had known tularemia is common in Texas but were not aware that it could be detected in the air. No one fell ill."

(Full article quoted at link above.)

---------------------------------------------------

Earlier outbreak of Tularemia in the DC area

JAMA. 1979 Nov 23;242(21):2315-7

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retri...

Tularemia pneumonia in Washington, DC. A report of three cases with possible common-source exposures.

"In June 1978, three cases of tularemia pneumonia occurred in persons residing in the Washington, DC, area. The patients, all men, became ill three to four days after a brief session training their hunting dogs in an undeveloped wooded area adjacent to a housing complex. One of the dogs, which later died, had captured a wild rabbit during the training session. All three men had handled the rabbit while familiarizing their dogs with the rabbit's scent. The men had no other common exposure that was a likely source of infection."

(Edited to say: It's worth keeping up on how this progresses, but to not panic.

Be prepared, be aware, be self-responsive, and advocate in knowledgeable fashion for yourself in health care environments.

It's a stastically curious event since this one short time span...during the protest...is the only sensor reading we know about reporting a positive for tularemia in DC.)

-----------------------------------------------------

Laura Bush was not in attendence at the Book Festival which took plac on the Mall itself, near the protest.

Up to 100,000 meet celebrity authors on Mall

by Alexis Burke
Hatchet Reporter
Published: 9/26/05
http://www.gwhatchet.com/media/paper332/news/2005/09/26...

As the sounds of anti-war activists rose in the background, more than 90 authors spoke to adults and children Saturday at the National Book Festival - just a few hundred yards away from protests.

Organizers said nearly 100,000 people attended the festival and heard from well-known authors such as Thomas Friedman, David McCollough, John Irving and Tom Wolfe. The event, sponsored by the Library of Congress, featured tents sprawled across the Mall focusing on all genres of writing.

*snip*

Hosted by first lady Laura Bush, who did not attend the event but helped promote it, the book festival was meant to encourage reading for all ages. The book festival has become an annual event since its inception five years ago and continues to draw large crowds from all levels of literary passion each year.

----------------------------------

...and a quick, non-sequitor WTF quote from this Thursday, Sept. 29th:

Mayoral candidates face off
Menino and Hennigan showcase political solutions for Boston

By Shannon Barrington
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2005

http://www.dailyfreepress.com/media/paper87/news/2005/0...

Menino and Hennigan also disagreed on Boston's disaster preparedness.

Menino said he worked with his homeland security director to create an "exodus plan" because of the Democratic National Convention. He said his plan focuses on using city resources to keep Bostonians safe without leaving the city by finding safe locations for citizens.

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Dunvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. Here Are the Current Tularemia Threads:
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Mutley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
13. No reason to panic but...
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 02:04 PM by mutley_r_us
The incubation period is 3-14 days. So, if anyone who was at the protest develops respiratory problems within that time period, I recommend going to a doctor and mentioning the Tularemia connection so they can check it out. Better safe than sorry.

Oh, and DO NOT let this scare any of you out of going to the next protest. IF the government is really responsible, one of the reasons could be to keep people from protesting in the future.
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