Search on for potentially deadly vials

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ron-P, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Southwes...ague/index.html
    This ought to be interesting to follow. Scary stuff!
    quote:
    LUBBOCK, Texas (CNN) -- Federal officials are looking for at least 30 vials that may contain the plague and are missing from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
    The FBI confirmed that some vials are missing, but a source said there is no clear proof that they contained bacteria that could cause bubonic or pneumonic plague. About 14 percent of plague cases in the United States are fatal.
    Officials don't believe "what is in those vials can be used as a weapon," CNN's Kelli Arena reported.
    The vials were part of a study by Dr. Thomas Butler, chief of infectious diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the university's Health Sciences Center. The study is aimed at developing antibiotics to fight the plague, the university said.
    Lubbock City Council member Frank Morrison said it is premature to say the items were stolen. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's Web site reports that a "theft" was reported to Texas Tech police.
    "It's a major situation," Morrison said in a television interview, but he urged citizens not to let themselves be "terrorized" by this.
    The FBI said that approximately 30 vials are missing.
    President Bush received a briefing about the case on Wednesday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.
    "I have been briefed by emergency operations center," Morrison said. "There have been a number of vials -- 35 is a generally accepted number. They are missing from the health science center. I believe it is inappropriate to characterize them as stolen vials."
    He said the city was notified in the past day or so.
    "We're really ramping up a medical response, getting them ready," said Chris Kozlow, of Innovative Emergency Management, a private risk management firm. "That's what would be going on right now."
    The sources said the culture was not in all the vials, but may have been in some of them. They said the FBI is "aggressively looking" for the vials.
    "The FBI is in fact investigating this," a bureau spokesman in Washington said. The FBI is working with local and state police officials and university personnel to determine what happened.
    CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said that bacteria and viruses, such as the plague are widely available to researchers at universities across the United States.
    She said that researchers often mail samples to each other and even sent them to colleagues in Iraq before restrictions were imposed.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    The plague is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis.
    Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease in rodents transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas.
    The symptoms are swollen, tender lymph nodes, fever, and extreme exhaustion. Ten to 20 people a year are infected in rural areas of the western United States, while globally there are 1,000 to 3,000 cases a year.
    It can be treated with antibiotics, but if it isn't treated promptly, it can cause death.
    Millions of Europeans died from bubonic plague in the Middle Ages, when flea-infested rats inhabited homes and workplaces.
    Pneumonic plague, a more serious form of the disease, occurs when plague bacteria are inhaled after direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.
    Peace Out~
     
  2. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Apparently the authorities are saying they've recovered them, or so they say.
     
  3. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Yep, just heard it on the radio, they all have been accounted for.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  4. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    I'd be more concerned with the ricin found in the U.K. There's no treatment for it, unlike bubonic plague.
     
  5. CaseyLS

    CaseyLS Second Unit

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    First they lose to K-State mens basketball and now they lose the plague. They are not having a good week. Oh well at least they found it
     

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