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NEWS: Bubonic Plague-Infected Mice Missing From N.J. Lab

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posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 02:06 PM
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Authorities are investigating the disappearance from a New Jersey bioterror research lab of at least three mice carrying a deadly strain of plague. Sources say FBI agents and bioterrorism experts have interviewed and polygraphed employees at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, N.J., the location of the lab run by the Public Health Research Institute, a leading center for research on infectious diseases.

 



abcnews.go.com...
Officials discovered two weeks ago a failure to account for three of 24 mice that had been injected with a bacterium that causes various forms of the plague, including bubonic plague, inside the high-security facility located in the middle of the city of Newark. The injections were part of an experiment testing potential treatments for the plague.

The discovery that three of the mice were missing led to a full investigation by the FBI Joint Terror Task Force, and an ongoing investigation into the lab's safeguards by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, federal sources said.

Investigators concluded that lab employees failed to properly account for the mice. They believe that when the mice in two of the three cages died, lab workers failed to properly search the cages' bedding before it was incinerated and the mice were packed for biohazard disposal.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


If these mice are not found VERY quicklet this could lead to quite an epidemic.

Im just glad that they are not rats as mice are far less likely to bite (i think).

[edit on 15/9/2005 by MickeyDee]

[edit on 15/9/2005 by MickeyDee]




posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 02:14 PM
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Wasnt it the fleas that were the carrier of the bubonic plague? So its irrelevant whether the mice are more inclined to bite. New Jersey would have a considerable rodent population so if infected mice get fleas and they pass it on to other rats/mice we could see an outbreak of the plague.

I read a story which said there was a "scant risk" of it infecting humans. Thats to be seen in my opinion.



posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 02:25 PM
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Apparently bubonic plauge can be treated with antibiotics, BUT if left untreated will develop into pnemonic plauge, which is highly contagious and WILL kill!


Mic



posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 02:27 PM
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Plague exists in the wild naturally and there are several cases of it every year in the U.S., so I doubt this is really too much of a concern as long it's not a genetically engineered superbug.



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 04:24 AM
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I find it scary enough that the people trusted to test deadly diseases can misplace 3 test subjects.Hopefully it is just the Plague as it could be far worse.



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 04:28 AM
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Originally posted by subz
Wasnt it the fleas that were the carrier of the bubonic plague? So its irrelevant whether the mice are more inclined to bite.



Yes, the fleas from the animal infected bites the human ( as they tend to do ) which in turn infects the human.



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 04:47 AM
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I am glad I am on the other side of the US for this! Scary stuff if it does turn out to be more.

Part of me thinks that it might not of been such a "mistake" more so to see if they could survive in the wild



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 05:43 AM
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Firstly, as I read the abcnews blub the effective mice may have hidden in the bedding and effectively been sent for biohazard desstrution so we making this into more than is necessary.

Despite this the lab was/is negligent. Under ordaninary proceedures this is classed as a level three biohazard illness. If it were to get out into the public it might be upgraded.

All animals will bite if they have teeth, though mice tend to flight more than fight, however, as rightly pointed out it was the fleas of rodents that caused the deadly "Black Plaugues" of Europe.

It is true that bubonic plauge has and continues in remote southwestern areas of the US, but a potential for an outbreak of plauge in the northeast could be very very serious.

Richard of Danbury



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 07:29 AM
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Originally posted by Richard of Danbury
Firstly, as I read the abcnews blub the effective mice may have hidden in the bedding and effectively been sent for biohazard desstrution so we making this into more than is necessary.




I find it rather hard to believe that the people in this field would be so unprofessional as to discard the bedding without having accounted for the mice.

Out of curiosity Richard as you seem well educated in this area can this plague be passed on through breeding,would offspring automatically be infected.I guess maybe im reaching here but like the Africanized bees escaping experiments in Brazil...strange things happen




[edit on 16-9-2005 by jimstradamus]



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by MickeyDee
Apparently bubonic plauge can be treated with antibiotics, BUT if left untreated will develop into pnemonic plauge, which is highly contagious and WILL kill!


Mic


how how many people do we have in the US uninsured???

so, if one of those uninsured comes across one of these mice, and well, do what most of the uninsured do, namely hold off going to the doctor as long as possible,well, what are the chances of it turing into the pnemonic plague??

but, na....the US healthcare system is the best in the world!!!



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 11:17 AM
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Looks like I picked the wrong time to read "Pandemic", eh?



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by dawnstar

Originally posted by MickeyDee
Apparently bubonic plauge can be treated with antibiotics, BUT if left untreated will develop into pnemonic plauge, which is highly contagious and WILL kill!

how how many people do we have in the US uninsured???

Uninsured or not, the plague is a fairly fast killer. From what I have read.

Gazrok may be reading Epidemic, but I am reading Catastr ophe: An Investigation into the Origins of Modern Civilization , which talks about cataclysm and devastation, in part due to the plague.

EDIT: Fixed link.

[edit on 16-9-2005 by ZeddicusZulZorander]



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 01:34 PM
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The idea of combining plague with mouse pox is somewhat alarming. I mean, if these mice were infected with something like that, then saying they have plague is not a compelte lie, just an ommission of part of the truth. Sounds familiar.



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 03:17 PM
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These mice have been missing for two weeks already and O'Reilly (on the radio) is making statements that they were taken. What does he know?


From the SFGate--interesting last paragraph:


sfgate.com.../n/a/2005/09/15/national/a100446D67.DTL

The mice were injected as part of an inoculation and vaccination experiment, investigators said.

Health officials say 10 to 20 people in the United States contract plague each year, usually through infected fleas or rodents. It can be treated with antibiotics, but about one in seven U.S. cases is fatal. Bubonic plague is not contagious, but left untreated it can transform into pneumonic plague, which can be spread from person to person.

The incident came as federal authorities investigate possible corruption in the school's finances. The FBI is reviewing political donations and millions of dollars in no-bid contracts awarded to politically connected firms.



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 04:28 PM
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This plague, a others have noted..
Occurs naturally in the rodent population
where I live (squrrels mostly), and probably in many other areas of the states.
Whenever you visit a state park, or state forest, there are signs posted
stating such a fact.

Even so, people continue to feed these semi-tame animals by hand, all the time.
There have been very few instances of the plague infecting humans.
Every now and then there is a case..



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 04:33 PM
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first the floods
next the plague



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 04:43 PM
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Plague is a pretty fast killer, I have read some books that are about the Black Plague in Europe, they say that most people died in a couple of weeks, so hopefully the mice were either incinerated or have died by now. Oh and by the Way you should read The Lone Eagle, it has elements dealing with like hantavirus and the Plague.



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 05:34 PM
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Coincidentally, I'm preparing a conference for our men's group on emerging diseases. I have been studying and researching both emerging and resurging diseases for the past six weeks.

As I stated in my previous post most disease is rated on a bio safty level of 2 (Ebola, Marburg and related are at the highest level of 4). This is based on the folowing definitions:
BSL1 –agents not known to cause disease.
BSL2 –agents associated with human disease.
BSL3 –indigenous / exotic agents associated with human disease and with potential for aerosol transmission.
BSL4 –dangerous / exotic agents of life threatening nature

Note: this is based on a laboratory environment not on free ranging diseases in society at large.

At any rate, bubonic plague has several variations and degrees of threat. The natural rate of bubonic plague in the US is generally confined to the southwest and is stablized to misc. wildlife and is not a pandemic or even epidemic threat, largely because the wildlife and human populations of this area are not dense enough.

Meantime, the plague is a blood borne illness, that is why it was passed so readily in the overcrowded, raw sewage streets of major towns and villages in Europe in the largely, how to say it..., sanitarily-challanged populous. GIven its blood base, and the vector of rodents it would seem that, yes, it can be passed to the young of the species carrier, as well as, by blood engourging insects like fleas.

Since the Bio-safty level is for laboratory purposes at large, pandemics may not be classified based on the strict levels indicated above, but could change depending on level of infected population, density of population, sanitary conditions, rate of spread, virolence, etc.

Though I don't believe there is any official scale for the population at large (other than the general terms of epidemic and pandemic) as opposed to laboratory conditions, the popluation of infected hosts has much to do with the classification.

In a densely populated area the disease could effect a percentage of the population, let's call it the "critical mass", which could catapault it to epidemic and pandemic levels respectively. It is here that we have the potential for a threat in the Newardk incident. However, that being said these lab mice are at the present only unaccounted for and likely have been inadvertently destroyed as per prescribed methods though that was not the intent of the lab workers. Keep in mind Bill O'Rielly is first and foremost a journalist who's bread and butter is made on the sensational and controversial. He knows no more than any of us.

Richard of Danbury



posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 04:35 AM
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I remember when my brother caught this disease. It was 1977 or 78. He almost died. His fever was 106º F. My mom drove him to Flagstaff to get medical treatment. She went from doctor to doctor, and none of them were able to successfully diagnose the disease. On the third day, she figured it out herself. She had read an article in the Arizona Republic about the plague. She definitely saved my brother's life, though he suffered a serious set-back in his health.

Then, for the next year, everyone knew the plague was in our town, Ashfork, Arizona. For the longest time, we had prairie dogs living in our very rural front yard, and they were wiped out completely. Our doberman pincher died. The rabbit population took a big hit as well. During the next year, our neighbor also got the disease.

I was never scared though, because I was off in college, and it was the fleas that were transmitting the disease. Even to this today, there's human cases of the plague in northern Arizona.

[edit on 17-9-2005 by bigIdea]



posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by bigIdea
I remember when my brother caught this disease. It was 1977 or 78. He almost died. His fever was 106º F. My mom drove him to Flagstaff to get medical treatment. She went from doctor to doctor, and none of them were able to successfully diagnose the disease. On the third day, she figured it out herself. She had read an article in the Arizona Republic about the plague. She definitely saved my brother's life, though he suffered a serious set-back in his health.

Then, for the next year, everyone knew the plague was in our town, Ashfork, Arizona. For the longest time, we had prairie dogs living in our very rural front yard, and they were wiped out completely. Our doberman pincher died. The rabbit population took a big hit as well. During the next year, our neighbor also got the disease.

I was never scared though, because I was off in college, and it was the fleas that were transmitting the disease. Even to this today, there's human cases of the plague in northern Arizona.

[edit on 17-9-2005 by bigIdea]
Sorry for the long quote, the book Lone Eagle is about a scientist who goes missing while studying why some Praire dog/Kangaroo rat Populations are resistant the Plague while others die off. Good Read



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