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ZZZZZ

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#1

Plague ‘hiding in plain sight’, warn scientists

1 MARCH 2018 • 4:23PM


The bacteria that cause plague, or the Black Death, could be lying dormant in common soil and water sources, posing a serious public health risk, scientists have warned.

The finding, published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, could explain why plague suddenly re-emerges without warning in countries such as Madagascar and even the United States.

In the middle ages the Black Death swept through Europe, killing an estimated 75 to 200 million people. It is no longer a global threat but the new research may explain its occasional outbreaks across the world.

David Markman, from Colorado State University who led the study, said that plague is endemic in many different parts of the world and its origins are still not well understood.

"The interesting and troubling part of plague, and part of the reason why there are so many unanswered questions, is that it is present in many different environments - from the jungle to the desert and everywhere in between.


Eighteenth Century engraving showing a death cart unloading bodies into a mass grave during the Great Plague of London CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
"It's difficult to find one mechanism that unites all these different locations which explains when, where and why plague breaks out when it does," he said.

The researchers identified amoebae, bugs that live in soil and water and which are known breeding grounds for disease, as possible culprits that are protecting the plague pathogens.


The team took soil samples from the burrows of the prairie dogs of northeastern Colorado, known hosts of the plague, to test their theory.

The researchers isolated five species of amoebae and then combined them with plague bacteria to see how they would react.

Using a genetically altered strain of plague that glows bright green the scientists observed the amoebae ingesting the plague. They then saw that the plague pathogens were alive and replicating in the amoebae.

The team says their research does not mean that this process occurs naturally but is an important theory because scientists have never properly understood how plague recurs after lying dormant.

Mr Markman warned that his research had worrying implications for bioterrorism.

"Some nefarious agent or actor could easily infect an amoeba and the amoeba could be spread into the water supply or sprayed over a crop field.

"There are hundreds of other human and animal pathogens that can survive and multiply inside amoeba but throughout all humanity plague is the most deadly pathogen we have seen," he said.

Plague is still a real threat with a particularly virulent outbreak in Madagascar killing 202 people last year. There are a handful of cases in the United States every year, with 16 cases including four deaths in 2015.


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organisation, called on the international community to do more to help understand why plague outbreaks occur.

“WHO will continue to support plague preparedness, control and response, and we call on our international development partners to help us end human outbreaks.

"This will include better understanding of the wider factors that allow plague to spread, and strengthening national capacities to manage similar emergencies in the future,” he said.

The Telegraph is working with the Gates Foundation to raise awareness of global health security. Find out more

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/plague-hiding-plain-sight-warn-scientists/
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Goldhedge

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keef

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We are overdue for a mass culling event. Mark my words.
Nature demands it. Just look around at how lame our society has become and you know the wolves and a tough winter is in the mix.

major extinction event on horizon
 

gringott

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I entertain the possibility that past European plague [culling] events might have been intentional by "party or parties unknown".

It is certainly possible that they might have been introduced by chance by a meteorite.

I keep my mind open to possibilities.

I will say the massive deaths in Europe due to the plague had a consequence, the end result was the domination of a good part of the world by Europeans.

A harsh climate and a harsh life lead to intelligent hard working people. There is a reason major intellectual and technological advances come from the northern hemisphere and not tropical paradise.

I didn't meet too many local rocket scientists in Tahiti. Mostly just fat people picking up fallen fruit on the ground.
 

Uncle

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Wonder where Patient Zero will show up this time?

Golden Regards
Uncle
 

ArkWv

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The bacteria that cause plague, or the Black Death, could be lying dormant in common soil and water sources, posing a serious public health risk, scientists have warned.

I believe they meant to say in a petri dish in a lab somewhere. One day they will get us.
 

gringott

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The bacteria that cause plague, or the Black Death, could be lying dormant in common soil and water sources, posing a serious public health risk, scientists have warned.

I believe they meant to say in a petri dish in a lab somewhere. One day they will get us.
Just like anthrax.
 

the_shootist

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#14
The bacteria that cause plague, or the Black Death, could be lying dormant in common soil and water sources, posing a serious public health risk, scientists have warned.

I believe they meant to say in a petri dish in a lab somewhere. One day they will get us.
Just another reason to avoid the cities now
 

gringott

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#15
I get that for economic reasons city life in Europe was the thing, and in the USA as well.
But now with "work" and communications being what they are, I don't see why people don't just move to low cost areas and do their work from home. Low cost of RE, low taxes, no traffic, no commute, beautiful scenery, no gangs, low crime, I mean, what's not to like? I get if you are unmarried and in your 20s, it seems exciting to live in the city. Once you have matured, married and have kids, you should have figured out it's a hell hole. Yes, there are museums and cultural life, but I don't need to live next door to that stuff, I can drive there and take a look when I have the urge, which I rarely do.
I guess people don't think about stuff like the plague anymore. Crowds and people living in close quarters = plague heaven.
 

mayhem

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#17
If you are sitting around with nothing to do you could always watch this 1970's BBC story on surviving the plague to come. It deals with the personality's of different people and their actions/reactions. Not to unlike we would be dealing with.

Survivors
is a British post-apocalyptic fiction drama television series created by Terry Nation and produced by Terence Dudley at the BBC, that broadcast from 1975 to 1977. It concerns the plight of a group of people who have survived an apocalyptic plague pandemic, which was accidentally released by a Chinese scientist and quickly spread across the world via air travel. Referred to as "The Death", the plague kills approximately 4,999 out of every 5,000 human beings on the planet within a matter of weeks of being released.
Ep. 1
 

madhu

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certainly possible from the meteorite. Don't you think the heat generated will alter the genetic composition of the bacteria? Pun intended

Get doxycycline 100 mg tablets and or levofloxacin 750 mg tablets. If symptoms get worse you will need to intravenous therapy and will have to go to hospital/ urgent care. The question is the difficulty and the time lost in diagnosis of rare diseases.
 

<SLV>

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#20
Sure, why not. Let's come up with yet another reason to live in fear.
 

DodgebyDave

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Sure, why not. Let's come up with yet another reason to live in fear.
WE live on a marginally stable ball of rock that miraculously falls in "the green zone". Just far enough from the sun and just far enough from Jupiter. A million miles either way and we are part of a gas giant or the water burns off. A gamma ray burst might be headed this way. Doesn't matter if it's in 5 minutes or a million years from now. The earth gets erased.

Around 2b years from now when our sun dies, the earth gets erased.

20b years from now when a worm crawls from the slime in a far away galaxy.......no matter how far it advances it will never know we even existed!

Might as well jump in the fire with me!
 

gringott

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#22
Sure, why not. Let's come up with yet another reason to live in fear.
Just me, but I don't fear any of this stuff. I find it interesting.
I'm not afraid of being mugged, robbed, car jacked, etc. If I feel I am going to a "danger area" I will take appropriate steps based on the threat.
I'm not afraid of things like the plague or ebola or the flu or whatever. I just find the subject interesting. Shoot, we all die of something after all. As far as plagues go, it is very interesting what went on in the past and how it had an effect on world history.
I don't fear terrorists, number one, why would they come around me? Number two, coming around me would be the biggest mistake they ever made. They would "make my day". lol
I am not afraid of giant meteor, after all, what can I do about it? But I do find the subject interesting and worth discussion, particularly what happened in the past.

Do you run around in fear all the time? I never have. Why worry about stuff you cannot do anything about? True, simple precautions for proximate danger make sense, it does not mean you "live in fear".

I found the article in the OP interesting, not fear mongering.
 

ZZZZZ

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#23
Forget the Plague, now there's "Disease X."

Scientists warn of mysterious and deadly new epidemic called Disease X that could kill millions around the world

The World Health Organisation has added the unknown future pathogen to a list of deadly threats to mankind



An unknown and deadly new illness dubbed Disease X has been added to the list of potential global epidemics that could kill millions.


Each year scientists with the World Health Organisation (WHO) create a list of the most likely diseases to break out into a worldwide pandemic.

This year, among the familiar Ebola, SARS, and Zika viruses is the new name of Disease X.

And unlike the other pathogens, it is not known what causes Disease X or how doctors could try to treat it.

Researchers said that they added Disease X to the threat list to recognise the fact that the next deadly pandemic could be started by an illness that has not caused any problems before.



The WHO is warning doctors and scientists to do more to prepare for the next pandemic to sweep the world (Image: Moment RF)

Killer flu pandemic 'could hit tomorrow' and kill more than 300 million people across the world, scientist warns

"Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease."

Norwegian scientist and WHO adviser John-Arne Rottingen said that it was likely the next outbreak would be "something we have not seen before".

"It may seem strange to be adding an ‘X’ but the point is to make sure we prepare and plan flexibly in terms of vaccines and diagnostic tests," he told The Daily Telegraph.



One of the biggest threats is a disease or virus which scientists have not yet identified (Image: PA)

Russian state TV's chilling warning to other "traitors" living in Britain after ex-spy's nerve agent poisoning

Disease X could even be man-made, rather than a fluke of nature. There are growing fears that the use and development of chemical and biological weapons are on the rise. In Syria's bloody civil war chemical bombs have been dropped on civilians on numerous occasions.

And closer to home, the police have confirmed that a nerve agent, probably created in a lab by state-sponsored scientists as a targeted weapon, was used to attack the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury this week.

Last year North Korea is believed to have used the nerve agent VX to assassinate the half-brother of dictator Kim Jong-Un in an airport in a Malaysian airport.

Mr Rottingen said that the man-made viruses and diseases were especially dangerous because humans have not built up any resistance over time to them, leaving them free to sweep across the globe before governments and doctors can catch up.



Disease X could come about through state-sponsored chemical weapons, which have caused devastation in places like Syria (Image: AFP)

Desperate plight of Ebola orphans who eke out a hazardous living wading through rubbish tip for plastic to sell

“Synthetic biology allows for the creation of deadly new viruses. It is also the case that where you have a new disease there is no resistance in the population and that means it can spread fast."

But it was just as possible that Disease X could spring up from the natural world, just as previous deadly epidemics such as Spanish Flu or HIV.

“The intensity of animal and human contact is becoming much greater as the world develops. This makes it more likely new diseases will emerge but also modern travel and trade make it much more likely they will spread,” the WHO adviser Professor Marion Koopmans told The Daily Telegraph.

Some of the proven killers on the list, such as Zika or SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) caught the world by surprise when they first arose and killed hundreds or even thousands before they were brought under control. Before scientists became familiar with these threats, they to would have been considered a Disease X.



Disease X could be as dangerous as Zika, which causes microcephaly in newborn babies (Image: REUTERS)
The WHO hopes that formally adding a future Disease X to the list will push countries and researchers to redouble their efforts to create protections against unknown epidemics.

But more common diseases could also cause devastation. Yesterday, the WHO warned that the next global flu epidemic could begin "tomorrow" and kill as many as 33 million people in just 200 days.

Jonathan Quick, chairman of the Global Health Council and a project leader for the World Health Organisation, has written a new book, Ending Epidemics: The Looming Threat To Humanity And How To Stop It.



Hundreds of Spanish flu victims in Kansas (Image: www.alamy.com)
Giving a stark warning, he said: “With disrupted supply of food and medicines and without enough survivors to run computer or energy systems, the global economy would collapse.

“Starvation and looting could lay waste to parts of the world “It’s a disaster movie night. Yet it is waiting to come true thanks to influenza, the most diabolical viral killer known to humankind."

Exactly 100 years ago the Spanish Flu outbreak swept around the world, killing about 100 million people around the world, more than the four years of the First World War which had only just finished.



Victims of 1918's devastating Spanish Flu outbreak are buried in mass graves (Image: www.alamy.com)

Celebrities and oridinary citizens were struck down alike. In America, which was hit particularly hard, so many people died there was no space left in morgues and families often had to dig their own graves.

Quick said that while there were lots of precautions governments could take to stop future epidemics, most countries were ignoring the threat.

“The good news is that there is much we can do to prevent this. The bad news is that much of it is not being done. We are just as vulnerable now as we were 100 years ago.”



Spanish flu killed 100 million and a similar epidemic is set to strike again (Image: www.alamy.com)

Dr Greg Poland, an expert in viruses as the Mayo Clinic, another global flu crisis was “100 per cent” certain.

He said: “We will have another pandemic. What’s unpredictable is the severity of it.

“When you begin to feel comfortable, you’re well on the road to bad things happening.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/scientists-warn-mysterious-deadly-new-12160964
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