Western Iranian Plague Foci Still Active, 2011-2012

In a letter in this month's Emerging Infectious Diseases, an Iranian and French team of epidemiologists report that the old plague focus in western Iran bordering Kurdistan is still active. Between 1947 and 1966 there were nine human plague epidemics causing 156 human deaths.  The last recorded human case occurred in 1966 and in animals... Continue Reading →

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Antibiotic Resistance, Agriculture, and the Plague

Antibiotics have ended the uncontrollable outbreaks of plague in humans that stalked our ancestors. Today, outbreaks are usually snuffed out after a couple of cases with antibiotic treatment of patients, prophylactic treatment of contacts and vector control. Our greatest risks from plague today are a pneumonic plague outbreak/attack and the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Beginning... Continue Reading →

Japanese Use of Plague during World War II

I've been reading Sheldon Harris' Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932-1945, and the American Cover-up. (Rev. ed, 2002), considered the definitive book on biological warfare in the Pacific theater during WWII. My primary interest is in Japanese research and use of plague in their biological warfare program.  Since this blog is, in part, a... Continue Reading →

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