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Old 07-01-2009, 05:13 PM   #1
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Default Primary Pneumonic Plague Contracted from a Mountain Lion Carcass

Primary Pneumonic Plague Contracted from a Mountain Lion Carcass
published 24 June 2009.

Chicago Journals - Clinical Infectious Diseases
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Background. Primary pneumonic plague is a rare but often fatal form of Yersinia pestis infection that results from direct inhalation of bacteria and is potentially transmissible from person to person. We describe a case of primary pneumonic plague in a wildlife biologist who was found deceased in his residence 1 week after conducting a necropsy on a mountain lion.

Methods. To determine cause of death, a postmortem examination was conducted, and friends and colleagues were interviewed. Physical evidence was reviewed, including specimens from the mountain lion and the biologistís medical chart, camera, and computer. Human and animal tissues were submitted for testing. Persons in close contact (within 2 meters) to the biologist after he had developed symptoms were identified and offered chemoprophylaxis.

Results. The biologist conducted the necropsy in his garage without the use of personal protective equipment. Three days later, he developed fever and hemoptysis and died 6 days after exposure. Gross examination showed consolidation and hemorrhagic fluid in the lungs; no buboes were noted. Plague was diagnosed presumptively by polymerase chain reaction and confirmed by culture. Tissues from the mountain lion tested positive for Y. pestis, and isolates from the biologist and mountain lion were indistinguishable by pulsed‐field gel electrophoresis. Among 49 contacts who received chemoprophylaxis, none developed symptoms consistent with plague.

Conclusions. The biologist likely acquired pneumonic plague through inhalation of aerosols generated during postmortem examination of an infected mountain lion. Enhanced awareness of zoonotic diseases and appropriate use of personal protective equipment are needed for biologists and others who handle wildlife.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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The primary pneumonic plague shouldn't be our concern.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #3
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The primary pneumonic plague shouldn't be our concern.
Why not?
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
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I recently did a search concerning my professor who died after contracting hepatitis from one of the primates at the San Diego Zoo. What I found is so many instances of animal workers contracting fatal diseases from animals that finding an individual case would be impossible.

It looks like this guy was not taking basic care if he was using his garage as a laboratory for the autopsy.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:06 PM   #5
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The primary plague can generally be treated.

It is the secondary pneumonic plague associated with the plague that many fear simply because published and ongoing research identifies it is a devastatingly acute infectious disease. We're not talking about H5N1 or its various strains out there. Those are relatively harmless due to low pathogenicity with only a few having been proven to be lethal to birds and humans and to top it off, avian flu kills the host which is an extremely poor evolutionary strategy. Given the broad host range for pneumonic plague, how mobile our society is, and how highly contagious this disease is before humans display symptoms; one has to wonder why the main stream media doesn't do more to educate the public. We're talking human to human transmission here via droplets. Think sneezes and coughs. Anyone out there know of a vaccine with proven efficacy for primary pneumonic? It doesn't exist. The fact remains mutations of Y. pestis that are multidrug-resistant are now out there. Once Y. pestis kills off primary vectors, those fleas will move to other hosts. Think millions of stray and feral cats and dogs out there. The capacity for this to lead to yet another pandemic is a very real concern not to be taken lightly.

You asked.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:23 PM   #6
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Ah ah ah chooooooooooooooooo!
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:20 PM   #7
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Gesundheit
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:15 AM   #8
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You asked.
Ah, thanks! (See, I misunderstood. I thought you were saying that we should be caring about how the animal died, instead of how the human died.)
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
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Oh no. No no no. I'm a public health proponent. I apologize if I have given the opposite impression.

I am also a proponent of animals that need to be destroyed being destroyed humanely. I am of the belief that poisons and jaw traps are barbaric.
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