Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tularemia Outbreak in Russia –443 Cases-Origins Unknown


The ProMed site carried a report this morning concerning a Tularemia outbreak in Russia –updated to 08/29/05.


The ProMed heading says 334 cases have been reported, but simple arithmetic shows the number to be 443. Breakdown follows:


135 Moscow (Shatursky District)
99 Nizhny Novgorod
83 Vladimir region ( Gorohovetsky)
67 Ryazan
28 Voronezh
29 Sverdlosk region
2 Yekaterinburg

443 Total


Laboratory confirmation has been obtained in 128 of the cases,so far.


(This is important, because influenza can cause similar symptoms , and there has been extensive migration of infected/infectious wildfowl into much of the region covered by the Tularemia outbreak.)


A link to the ProMed site is posted here :

http://www.promedmail.org/pls/askus/f?p=2400:1001:8395684244204579691::NO::F2400_P1001_BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,30252

This is a link to the outbreak map: http://en.retal.ru/images/map4.gif


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Russian health authorities are claiming ALL of the victims were bitten by insects, or bathed in open reservoirs prior to infection.


Insect bites and contaminated food/water are known vectors of this disease,as is the handling of infected animal carcasses; however, the unprecedented number of cases – many of which have occurred in the vicinity of known bioweapons labs-suggests this outbreak has “other-than-natural” causes : whether it “leaked” from carelessly-handled containers, or whether it was deliberately transported to several areas.

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Tularemia – a bacterial disease – is one of many diseases researched for biowarfare use in the former Soviet Union. Ken Alibek (Kantjan Alibekov), former head of Russia’s Vector program, and author of the book “Biohazard” , has indicated bioweapons research was ongoing in 1997-despite international agreements to the contrary.


One of the areas of research Allibek reported was “microencapsulization” of bioagents : a step which made them much more “durable” for battlefield use.


The material used in the 2001 Anthrax attacks on American soil may have been made using just such a “microencapsulization” process , in which finely powdered material is kept from clumping by the addition of a product called “nanoglass”.


The nanoglass – acting somewhat like an electrical insulator – surrounds the particles : protecting them from the destructive effects of sunlight, and causing them to “seethe” : so vigorously, that simple removal of a cap from a container will cause the product to flow upwards from the container.


(The seething is caused by built-in electrical charges called Van der Waals Forces , which attract fine particles to one another. Because of the nanoglass barrier - which, under an electron microscope, would appear like tiny round “birdshot” surrounding a medicine ball - the product moves constantly in “search” of an un-insulated surface on which it may clump.)


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