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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
These Are The Names, Chapter 21
31 comments or Leave a comment
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: disease transmission

Y pestis goes airborne when it infects the lungs, as far as I could tell from my reading. It has three ways of expressing. Bubonic plague attacks the lymph nodes. Septicemic plague is when it begins to effect extremities. Pneumonic plague is when Y pestis gets into the lungs. That's how they think the Black Death ended up spreading much more quickly than could be spread by rat fleas.
colorofitall From: colorofitall Date: July 10th, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: disease transmission

Delurking as well. (puts MD hat on).

Fern, you are absolutely right about how Y. pestis spreads. That's why it is so concerning for a bioterror weapon, and such a bad idea here. (stupid Gamesmakers!) Once Y. pestis gets in a patient's lungs, you now have pneumonic plague which is nasty nasty stuff. Now the rats don't matter, and every time a tribute kills another tribute it'll spread. Since the Gamesmakers like up close and personal deaths, ya know.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 11th, 2014 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: disease transmission

Thanks. I was sure about the transmission -- for whatever reason, I was obsessed with the Black Death when I was a kid and still obsessively read reports when the news turns up something new, which may say something about what kind of kid I was; whoa, English plague pit news -- but I had a post-posting panic that I'd used "airborne" wrong. ;p

Y pestis is a nasty, creepy little thing, and what it does to the fleas it infects is pretty sick, too. In the course of reading for this, I found that during WWII, the Japanese dropped bombs full of infected fleas on China. The strain here is a bio-engineered strain on top of its usual scariness, adapted around known antibiotics and to let the fleas live longer (not to mention that it was initially released in the middle of total chaos by someone with a psychopathic historical bent).
sonetka From: sonetka Date: July 11th, 2014 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: disease transmission

Yes -- did you see this story from five years ago?


This poor guy apparently got it just from breathing in while he was cutting open a dead animal carcase. Killing someone whose blood was still pumping and able to spray ... yeah, the Careers aren't going to have to worry about melee this year.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: July 11th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Some days I just never want to go outside again, but I know it wouldn't actually help.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 11th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: disease transmission

I'd read about the case in passing, but hadn't read the details. As sorry as I am, I also have this reaction of, "Necropsy in the garage on an animal that died of unknown causes, with a bloody nose, in a plague area? WHAT WAS HE THINKING?" Then again, I'm all about the universal precautions when dealing with potential biohazards. Growing up with a nurse during the beginning of the AIDS scare will do that. When someone at work decided to clean up... um, well, let's say a customer decided to make a highly personal contribution to the rug... without gloves or a mask on, I flipped.

Edited at 2014-07-11 05:59 am (UTC)
sonetka From: sonetka Date: July 12th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: disease transmission

I was wondering that as well, but he may have gotten in the habit and just gotten careless. Speaking of which, in the news today ...


Eek! It's everywhere!
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