November 01, 2017

This is Not as Bad as it Sounds, but it Could get Much Worse Soon

Plague-Tan by Heitor Amatsu

This story broke a bit over a week ago, but I refrained from posting on it, in part because I'd just posted about the DPRK biowarfare program. A Plague outbreak is, even today, fairly unremarkable, we get them every few years in the Southwestern U.S. and the disease is common in parts of Africa. 
However, this was a pneumonic plague outbreak, in a crowded developing world city, and the potential for mass misfortune was real. 

The story still isn't quite as bad as it seems from the headlines. It has not actually spread to 9 countries, though it is expected to. Also,  124 in a single city being killed by a disease in a week, is a pretty serious situation, but it's not as bad as the 1300 reported (that appears to be the number of infected...which, is impressive in a good way as Pneumonic plague tends to have a mortality rate quite a bit higher than 10%.

Pneumonic plague doesn't require fleas as vectors as it is airborne. It's not a distinct strain of plague, merely regular plague that gets into the lungs, and spreads via coughing. There are some strains of plague, that, if they get in the lungs, do transmit a bit better than others, but in all cases Plague is less virulent that a cold or flu, and being a bacteria, it responds to antibiotics. On the debit side, it spreads like wildfire in close quarters and can kill in 24 to 48 hours. In stark contrast to the necrotic and bubonic manifestations of plague, this has a mortality rate approaching some Ebola strains. This is, perversely, "good" news, as it tends to kill so quick, it inhibits its own spread, except in very urban where the outbreak is now.

While this is not as dire a situation as it might appear from a casual glance at a news aggregator sate, it is a very worrying development and could get very bad indeed, very quickly, if it starts airport hopping.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 354 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Double plus ungood do not want.

Better than septicemic plague, though, where sometimes the first noticeable symptom is death.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Nov 2 17:52:13 2017 (PiXy!)

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