Plague Mice Escape Newark Lab
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Thread: Plague Mice Escape Newark Lab

  1. #1
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    Plague Mice Escape Newark Lab

    Ahem!...Did you say...PLAGUE!!!...
    Just when we we starting to breathe a sigh of relief, that nothing toxic appears to have escaped New Orleans' anthrax labs. Now comes word, from the Star-Ledger, that three mice "carrying deadly strains of plague" have disappeared from the biodefense lab at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, N.J.ote]
    State Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs said mice infected with plague die "very fast," so "the risk to the public ... is probably slim to none. We didn't think -- nor did the CDC think -- there was any public health threat..."

    Infectious-disease experts... called the episode ... very troubling -- raising serious issues of security and control...

    Richard H. Ebright, a Rutgers University microbiologist and a critic of the government's rapid expansion of bio-terrorism labs... noted there has been a series of serious incidents across the country involving accidental human infections at several of the labs working with agents like anthrax and plague. At the same time, he said, federal guidelines call for only minimal security -- a lock on the lab door and a lock on the sample container and cage.
    http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001811.html
    Defense Tech: Plague Mice Escape Newark Lab

    Now...why would we be worried about something as silly as a PLAGUE!!! You did say Minimal Security

  2. #2
    Frustrated Mad Scientist
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    mice infected with plague die "very fast,"
    But does the infection die with the host?

    Anyone notice the plural in, "strains of plague"?

    The lab where the mice disappeared is known as a Biosafety Level 3 containment lab, which works with diseases that are lethal or can cause serious health problems, including bubonic plague, pneumonic plague, West Nile virus and typhoid fever.
    Yummy.

    The number of research labs has been expanding in response to the Bush administration's funding for bio-defense research.
    My opinion of Bushy just got lower, which is quite an achievement.

    "It's a bad disease," noted John G. Bartlett, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
    No **** Sherlock, you can tell how he made chief with insightful comments like that.

    "Once it starts, it's awful," said Bartlett
    Either this guy is thick as **** in the narrow end of a bottle or the jounalist is the king of crap quotes.

    Yersinia pestis is a facultative anaerobic, intracellular, gram-negative bacillus.

    The lovely thing about Bacillus is that they produce spores when placed under stress i.e. their host could be dead. The spores are increadibly durable. So the plague would not die with the rodents.

  3. #3
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    Good thing we don't live in New Jersey...eh, Aspman!

  4. #4
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    Very nice..
    I allways asumed the USA was heading for the dark ages realy, realy fast..
    It was just no fun without the impending doom of a nuclear war above our heads..
    Now thanks to hunger, famine and some plague infected rodents.. We're getting there !!

    Loads of info here.. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague/

    The number of research labs has been expanding in response to the Bush administration's funding for bio-defense research.
    Yet another one from the `Do as we say, don't do as we do' department..
    Nice how they call it bio defence instead of weapons of mass murder..
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
    When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.

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  5. #5
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    I'm thats not *too* far from me. Only about 2hrs drive.

    Is that an airborne spread disease?

    /me shudders and runs out to the car for my gas mask. (hey, didn't everyone buy one after 9/11?)

    Oh, fleas! Will a dog collar help? I think I still have a lot of flea spray at home for my dogs.
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  6. #6
    Frustrated Mad Scientist
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    I'm going to petition the UN to widen the Atlantic.

    Look for 'Plague mice' on Ebay

    Don't think you can catch plague throught the air. Not unless you were really unlucky and someone coughed up blood and you inhaled blood aerosol.

    The bacteria is anerobic which will usually mean exposure to oxygen will kill. The spores will be tranmissable in the air but I don't know if they would be infectious.

    Infection is normally via fluid transfer ie rats to fleas - fleas to humans in the case of the black death.

    As mentioned it's quite treatable normally if caught early but if these are weaponised bacteria I would expect them to be resistant to most antibiotics if not all.

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  7. #7
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    The reason I said airborne...

    Rats carried flees to spread the Black plague across Europe. For example, an infected flea (host) infects a human whom another flea bites and becomes infected, and so on. Once the mutated plague became airborne, the plague spread even more rapidly.
    http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/ess...plaguep1ab.htm
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  8. #8
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    With pneumonic plague infecting lungs comes the possibility of person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for pneumonic plague is usually between two and four days, but can be as little as a few hours. The initial symptoms of headache, weakness, and coughing with hemoptysis are indistinguishable from other respiratory illnesses. Without diagnosis and treatment, the infection can be fatal in one to six days; mortality in untreated cases may be as high as 95%. The disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague)

    So you wouldn't get bubonic plague just pnuemonic plague. No mutation required

    Bet you feel better now.

    A Reasonable surgical mask should stop it. Aerosol droplets are a lot bigger than say a virus.= so are easier to filter.

    Historical from the same page.

    The first Western literary account of a possible outbreak of plague is found in the book of Samuel V of the Hebrew Bible. In this account, the Philistines of Ashdod were struck with a plague for the crime of stealing the Ark of the Covenant from the Children of Israel. These events have been dated to approximately the second half of the eleventh century B.C. The word "hemorrhoids" is used in English translations to describe the sores that came upon the Philistines. The Hebrew, however, can be interpreted as "swelling in the secret parts".

    Oooh, nasty. A plague of hemorrhoids or swellings in the secret parts.

  9. #9
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    well i live ten minutes from it but canada isn't that far by train and this lab is right next to penn station. if a virus got out id feel as safe as anyone.
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  10. #10
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    Hi Tedob1,

    From what I hear...mice don't like trains...they prefer subways...and subways don't go to Canada

    Eg

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