Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

My Photo

I enjoy writing!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bubonic Plaque organisms are extremely dangerous

Obviously, there's no reason for the public to sound an infectious disease alarm about the recent cluster of bubonic plague infections reported in some US western states. Nevertheless, the incidence of the infectious plague has spread. 

Now, a plague case was reported in Michigan. In fact, however,the infected patient recently traveled to Colorado, where plague has been reported. In other words, unfortunately, the bubonic plague has now spread beyond the cluster of infections reported in a few US western states.

(Bubonic Plague is one of three types of bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis.[1] Three to seven days after exposure to the bacteria flu like symptoms develop. This includes fever, headaches, and vomiting.[1] Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin.[2] Occasionally the swollen lymph nodes may break open.[1]
The three types of plague are the result of the route of infection: bubonic plague, septicemic plague, and pneumonic plague. Bubonic plague is mainly spread by infected fleas from small animals.[1] It may also result from exposure to the body fluids from a dead plague infected animal.[3] In the bubonic form of plague, the bacteria enter through the skin through a flea bite and travels via the lymphatics to a lymph node, causing it to swell. Diagnosis is by finding the bacterium in the blood, sputum, or fluid from a lymph nodes.[1]Prevention is through public health measures such as not handling dead animals in areas where plague is common. Vaccines have not been found to be very useful for plague prevention.[1] Several antibiotics are effective for treatment including streptomycin, gentamicin, or doxycycline.[4][5] Without treatment it results in the death of 30% to 90% of those infected.[1][4] Death if it occurs is typically within ten days.[6] With treatment the risk of death is around 10%.[4] Globally in 2013 there was about 750 documented cases which resulted in 126 deaths.[1] The disease is most common in Africa.[1]

Although bubonic plague can be treated, the infectious bacteria that causes the potentially deadly infection has the ability to travel. Routinely, the human immune systems cannot identify their structure. Therefore, the immune system that has no way to identify the bacteria, cannot effectively fight them.

No magic solutions or cures are available to cure dangerous super bugs. Nevertheless, the panic resulting from potentially mortal diseases can cause collateral damage. For example, people will naturally seek out causes for the infectious disease outbreaks and might lead to conspiracy theories about the root causes. (Often, outsiders and immigrants are blamed, even when there is no evidence of cause and effect.)

It's time the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) receives all the resources necessary to fight infectious diseases. 

Otherwise, one of these days, a bubonic plague bacteria of unknown origin will inevitably take us by complete surprise. Prevention is far less expensive than treating a preventable pandemic. Understanding, and responding to the root causes of dangerous organisms, like bubonic plague, are essential public health expenditures. Treating the root causes of public health emergencies are as urgent as any defense spending or supporting safety net social welfare programs. 

Let's leave humanity the legacy of a healthy world, free of preventable infectious diseases, because we can.



Post a Comment

<< Home