Pneumonic plague in North West China

#1
Anyone planning to travel to North West China/Tibet?

Pneumonic plague has broken out in the north western province of Hainan Tibetan Prefecture, China. The Chinese government has confirmed two deaths so far, though sources are stating that there have been three confirmed deaths.

The province has been quarantined by the Chinese authorities and, of course, the plague has never been eradicated from the planet so perhaps there isn't too much cause for concern. According to the WHO:

Plague is endemic in many countries in Africa, in the former Soviet Union, the Americas and Asia. In 2003, 9 countries reported 2118 cases and 182 deaths. 98.7% of those cases and 98.9% of those deaths were reported from Africa. Today the distribution of plague coincides with the geographical distribution of its natural foci.
However, this area of China is particularly undeveloped and, therefore, is prime ground for epidemics. Furthermore, 'pneumonic plague is the most virulent and least common form of plague' and should be treated within 24 hours of first symptoms appearing for the best chance of survival.

If this did become an epidemic, how could the rudimentary and limited Chinese health system hope to be able to treat large numbers of people within 24 hours? How would they react if a plague epidemic coincided with a swine flu epidemic (completely hypothetical, I know)?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/03/china-pneumonic-plague-ziketan

Contrarian: bringing you tidings of good news since 2008. :roll:
 
#3
3 dead out of 1.1 billion? I bet the Chinese are really panicking
 
#6
The plus side is that the area affected is comparatively sparsely populated (by Chinese standards, anyway) and easy to quarantine. It's a great big patch of scrubland not unakin to the African veldt and not somewhere you'd want to travel offroad or on foot. You certainly wouldn't get very far.
 
#7
longlivethequeen said:
Do the jabs from GW1 not cover this? or were we pin cushions for just for the fun.
You might be out of date now though....
 
#8
China are very good at disease prevention. With 1.1 billion, they can afford to be. Simply seal off affected city/district, kill everyone, kill everything else, keep it sealed for a while, nobody notices any particular difference, move on.
 
#9
Knowing the Chinese, they'll probably "treat" the disease with a course of high-speed lead injections. Then disinfect the area with Dr Flamethrower...
 
#10
I wouldn't worry too much. The chinese have outbreaks of plague every year. In remote areas like this.

Simple - quarantine, innoculate and treat. Having spent some time there, I can say that actually they have a very good health service delivery system, mainly by dint of being able to do what they want by throwing people and money at any problem.

I would be far more worried if this broke out in the US or Europe, where we would have umpteen bloody do gooder organisations immediately involved making quarantine impossible.
 
#11
Bazzinho1977 said:
I wouldn't worry too much. The chinese have outbreaks of plague every year. In remote areas like this.

Simple - quarantine, innoculate and treat. Having spent some time there, I can say that actually they have a very good health service delivery system, mainly by dint of being able to do what they want by throwing people and money at any problem.

I would be far more worried if this broke out in the US or Europe, where we would have umpteen bloody do gooder organisations immediately involved making quarantine impossible.
Zackly. They put in a damned good performance against swine flu and the cholera outbreak in Yunnan in 99(?) as well as everything that came in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake and the almost routine floods of the Yangtse and Yellow Rivers. They're extremely well practiced at it.

One advantage they have is that 'The Great Mass of the People' are a lot better at grasping that the common good might just occasionally diverge from individual personal interest than their western counterparts. The joy of having government by technocrats is that experts get to call the operational shots on issues like public health and by and large people trust simply measures designed for disease control.
 
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