Posted by: Chris Maloney | September 9, 2011

Contagion: We’ve Still Got the Plague, and We’ve Added Avian Flu.

Worldwide distribution of plague infected anim...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m thinking about going to see Contagion, because its association with the 9/11 will likely make it part of the ongoing fears of many of my patients.

As it happens, I’m nearly done writing a book about how to survive the next Pandemic (hint:  kitchen spices).

What people tend to forget about things like Contagion is that we are currently experiencing multiple, slower pandemics.  The U.S. has an obesity epidemic, which is likely to hamstring us in the decades to come.  Here in the Northeast we have a lyme disease epidemic, with far-reaching consequences as people get bitten and rebitten.

We also have an ongoing pandemic of the Avian flu.  Yes, that flu that killed half the people it infected.  It’s now classified as endemic.  And it was documented to pass from person to person.

But if you want to be truly scared, we still have the plague.  Yep, that plague.  The black death.  The scourge of Europe.  I’ve put several documented reports below.  What kills it?  Antibiotics.

Is there antibiotic-resistant plague?  Not yet.  But the idea of an antibiotic-resistant plague is one of the reasons I became an alternative doctor.  In our hospitals and our communities we have a slowly spreading plague of MRSA and its more deadly cousin VRSA.

What kills those?  Alternative herbs which you can grow in your backyard.  So let’s all take a deep breath and congratulate ourselves on surviving all the current epidemics.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Feb 25;60(7):214.

Notes from the field: two cases of human plague–Oregon,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, is enzootic among rodents
in the western United States. Humans can be infected through 1) the bite of an
infected flea carried by a rodent or, rarely, other animals, 2) direct contact
with contaminated tissues, or 3) in rare cases, inhalation of respiratory
secretions from infected persons or animals. In September 2010, the Oregon
Health Authority reported the first two cases of human plague in Oregon since
1995 and the only two U.S. cases in 2010.

PMID: 21346709

Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;30(6):893-900. Epub 2000 Jun 13.

Cases of cat-associated human plague in the Western US,

Gage KL, Dennis DT, Orloski KA, Ettestad P, Brown TL,
Reynolds PJ, Pape WJ, Fritz CL, Carter LG, Stein JD.


Bacterial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Vector-Borne
Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO 80522, USA.


Exposure to cats infected with Yersinia pestis is a recently
recognized risk for human plague in the US. Twenty-three cases of
cat-associated human plague (5 of which were fatal) occurred in 8 western
states from 1977 through 1998, which represent 7.7% of the total 297 cases
reported in that period. Bites, scratches, or other contact with infectious
materials while handling infected cats resulted in 17 cases of bubonic plague,
1 case of primary septicemic plague, and 5 cases of primary pneumonic plague.
The 5 fatal cases were associated with misdiagnosis or delays in seeking
treatment, which resulted in overwhelming infection and various manifestations
of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Unlike infections acquired by
flea bites, the occurrence of cat-associated human plague did not increase
significantly during summer months. Plague epizootics in rodents also were
observed less frequently at exposure sites for cases of cat-associated human
plague than at exposure sites for other cases. The risk of cat-associated human
plague is likely to increase as residential development continues in areas
where plague foci exist in the western US. Enhanced awareness is needed for
prompt diagnosis and treatment.

PMID: 10852811




  1. […] Contagion: We’ve Still Got the Plague, and We’ve Added Avian Flu. ( […]

Tell me what you think!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: