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Bubonic Plague

1. What would you do if a person with the Bubonic Plague came to your facility?

Did you know it still exists in the U.S.? About 10 to 20 people usually get plague each year in the United States, mostly in the West. One in seven cases is fatal. Plague is one of a handful of agents that federal health officials fear could be used in a bioterrorist attack, but health officials stressed that the cases were natural. (Plague Q-and-A: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague/qa.htm).

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1. What would you do if a person with the Bubonic Plague came to your facility? Did you know it still exists in the U.S.? About 10 to 20 people usually get plague each year in the United States, mostly in the West. One in seven cases is fatal. Plague is one of a handful of agents that federal health officials fear could be used in a bio-terrorist attack, but health officials stressed that the cases were natural. Plague Q-and-A: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague/qa.htm
Most facilities will have specific procedures in place in the case of a plaque, including the Bubonic Plaque. Thus, it is a matter of following procedures.

Specifically, according to treatment experts, a patient diagnosed with suspected plague should be hospitalized and medically isolated. If the patient(s) were already in your facility, then quarantine might be in order. Laboratory tests should be done, including blood cultures for plague bacteria and microscopic examination of lymph gland, blood, and sputum samples. Antibiotic treatment should begin as soon as possible after laboratory specimens are taken. Streptomycin is the antibiotic of choice. Gentamicin is used when streptomycin is not available. Tetracyclines and chloramphenicol are also effective. Persons who have been in close contact with a plague patient, particularly a patient with plague pneumonia, should be identified and evaluated. The U.S. Public Health Service requires that all cases of suspected plague be reported immediately to local and state health departments and that the diagnosis be confirmed by CDC. As required by the International Health Regulations, CDC reports all U.S. plague cases to the World Health Organization. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague/qa.htm

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Solution Summary

Since there are stil 10 to 20 cases in United States each year, this solution explains the actions and safeguards to put in place in a health facility with a patient with the Bubonic Plague. It provides a detailed illustrative exmaples of how ot deal with the bubonic plaque. References are provided.

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