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Monday, October 03, 2005

Tularemia In DC

Tularemia was detected by multiple biosensors during the antiwar protests in DC on September 24th and 25th. (CIDRAP). Further testing was done at the CDC. Tularemia in the air is not what one would expect in a DC environment.

See also this CurEvents.com thread. Information about tularemia as a bioterrorism agent. I would bet anything that they have been testing in Toronto for this, and if not they should be.
Time required for symptoms to appear: 3 to 5 days.

Signs and symptoms: flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, headache, and muscle ache); joint pain, dry cough, weakness, severe respiratory illness, and pneumonia.

Fatality rate: 5 to 15 percent in untreated cases, but less than 2 percent in promptly treated cases.

Attack rate: nearly everyone infected will become sick with flu-like symptoms that may develop into pneumonia.

Recovery: antibiotics begun promptly will lead to full recovery.

Prevention: a vaccine has been used to protect laboratory workers that work with two common strains of tularemia. However, terrorists may use a strain that is resistant to the vaccine now available.

Treatment: 12 to 14 day antibiotic regimen using streptomycin and gentamicin.
More information about tularemia and its various presentations. Ciprofloxin and doxycycline are effective. Incubation periods for smaller exposures has been known to be as long as three weeks. Likely presentation would be an inflamed eye, a sore throat and inflamed lymph nodes, or a case of respiratory illness.

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