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  1. #1

    Question The Plague found in National Parks ?

    On the colloquially named "Frequently Asked Questions About Plague" page at the NPS page for Yosemite, I found the following:

    Last update: August 6, 2015

    On August 6, 2015, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced it is investigating a case of human plague in California and conducting an environmental evaluation in the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and the surrounding areas. The department began investigating this incident after a child from Los Angeles County became ill and was hospitalized after visiting the Stanislaus National Forest and camping at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite National Park in mid-July. No other members of the camping party reported symptoms and health officials are continuing to monitor the child's family and treatment providers. The child is recovering.
    http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/plague.htm

    Is this so common and accepted that they just casually toss up a web page about it and that's pretty much all the concern it needs? I don't mean to be an alarmist, but since the only other time I've heard anything associated with the word plague was just after about 100 million people died... Well, the word just sort of stands out.

    Is this sort of thing common in U.S. National Parks (or any other areas within the contiguous 48 states?)

    Jeesh! And to think, Giardia, Crypto, Lyme, and maybe West-Nile (at a long shot) were all I ever considered to be bacterial or viral hazards. Wow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by g00gle View Post
    On the colloquially named "Frequently Asked Questions About Plague" page at the NPS page for Yosemite, I found the following:


    http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/plague.htm

    Is this so common and accepted that they just casually toss up a web page about it and that's pretty much all the concern it needs? I don't mean to be an alarmist, but since the only other time I've heard anything associated with the word plague was just after about 100 million people died... Well, the word just sort of stands out.

    Is this sort of thing common in U.S. National Parks (or any other areas within the contiguous 48 states?)

    Jeesh! And to think, Giardia, Crypto, Lyme, and maybe West-Nile (at a long shot) were all I ever considered to be bacterial or viral hazards. Wow!
    Plague is endemic to the American West. With modern antibiotics (gentamicin is preferred) it's generally pretty easily cured. I'd rather get plague than borreliosis (Lyme) or babesiosis.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  3. #3

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    Plague is not common, but not uncommon either when it is pointed out in the press. It's not like the plagues of the Middle Ages that wiped out millions, today we have anti-biotics to fight some of the less visible dangers of the great out-of-doors and wee things carried by vermin mostly in the western States.

  4. #4

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    Between 1900 and 2012, 1006 confirmed or probable human plague cases occurred in the United States. Over 80% of United States plague cases have been the bubonic form.
    http://www.cdc.gov/plague/maps/index.html

    Not sure if I feel better or worse, now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by g00gle View Post
    http://www.cdc.gov/plague/maps/index.html

    Not sure if I feel better or worse, now...
    While your at it, put hantavirus on your list of concerns too.

    Yep, rodents out west have plague.

  6. #6

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    This is one of those issues like anthrax, it exists in the environment, same with plague. Avoiding vermin and where it lives will be a good mitigation tool.

    "Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down" Nursery rhyme from the time of the great plague

  7. #7

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    If you want to scare yourself, read how you get more radiation from the earth than the

    http://www.physicscentral.com/buzz/b...22392003422357

  8. #8

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    When I went to the Badlands in South Dakota a couple of weeks ago there were signs posted at every entrance that said "CAUTION Prairie Dogs have PLAGUE! Keep people and pets in vehicles." An employee there told me it is spread by fleas and mosquitos.

  9. #9

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    Okay, let's be clear on one thing just in case our paths ever cross outdoors...

    NONE of you are invited to tell stories around the campfire!

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    Bubonic plague was so dangerous in the Middle Ages, because no one was exposed to it prior to that. We are descendants of those who survived the plagues in the dark ages. We have resistance inherited. I'd be more worried about some new mutation that has yet to be born than some disease that's a thousand years old at this point.

  11. #11

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    The reason plague was so deadly in the middle ages was that many people were malnourished and sanitation was very poor so disease spread rapidly. Look at all the talk on here about norovirus...some debate on if that's what it really is/was, but look at the conditions and the population of people the disease affects...people who don't shower but once or twice a week...when someone gets it they are crapping diahrea or vomiting on the ground in a spot that someone else may set their tent up on the next day not knowing what is there...most aren't washing their hands regularly and everybody is touching that shelter register...they may be sharing food, and they very well might be burning twice as many calories as they are eating.

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    Exclamation One more thing you may want to know

    > And to think, Giardia, Crypto, Lyme, and maybe West-Nile (at a long shot) were all I ever considered to be bacterial or viral hazards


    U.S. deaths from giardia: "rare" (you just FEEL like you're going to die)
    http://web.clark.edu/tkibota/240/Disease/Giardiasis.pdf

    U.S. deaths from crypto sporidia: "In immunocompetent individuals, Cryptosporidiosis is not life threatening"
    http://web.uconn.edu/mcbstaff/graf/S...oridiosis.html

    U.S. deaths from West Nile in 2014: 97
    http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/resource...4_06052015.pdf

    U.S. deaths from influenza & pneumonia in 2013: 56,979
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

    And before you say, "Only old people die from the flu," check
    http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/20...lu-report.html
    "People 25 years to 64 years of age have accounted for about 60 percent of flu deaths this season compared with 18 percent, 30 percent, and 47 percent for the three previous seasons, respectively. During 2009-2010, people 25 years to 64 years accounted for an estimated 63 percent of deaths."

    In other words, you most DEFINITELY should be worried about the viral hazard from influenza. Get a flu shot every year, wipe your hands with alcohol when around people, and stay home when you have the flu.
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 08-16-2015 at 23:14.

  13. #13
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    I used to climb in Yosemite a lot when I was younger and this is not the first time this has occurred there. Back in the 70's the tent housing for the workers at the lodges and stuff was ghetto squaller. Even I as a scum bag climber thought the place was filthy.

    You just have to think about keeping clean and your hands off stuff you should not touch. One of the reasons I always avoided shelters when on the AT was that they were so filthy. Many of the Hostels are as well.

  14. #14

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    When I hiked the PCT in 2009, I remember seeing multiple plaque warning notices at various trailheads in California. They usually had a picture of a squirrel. I was far more worried about being exposed to poison oak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g00gle View Post
    Okay, let's be clear on one thing just in case our paths ever cross outdoors...

    NONE of you are invited to tell stories around the campfire!
    Agreed!! LOL!! Do we even really want to know the many many gazillions of ways we could die or be killed every single moment of our lives? Really? I vote NO.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    The reason plague was so deadly in the middle ages was that many people were malnourished and sanitation was very poor so disease spread rapidly. Look at all the talk on here about norovirus...some debate on if that's what it really is/was, but look at the conditions and the population of people the disease affects...people who don't shower but once or twice a week...when someone gets it they are crapping diahrea or vomiting on the ground in a spot that someone else may set their tent up on the next day not knowing what is there...most aren't washing their hands regularly and everybody is touching that shelter register...they may be sharing food, and they very well might be burning twice as many calories as they are eating.
    Sad to say, the catholic church played a role in the plague. They banned housecats as being instruments of the devil. This led to an explosion of the rat population, carrying plague.

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    What was even more significant was the prevalence of thatched roofs. The Great Fire of London put a stop to the Great Plague of London, because thatch was banned in the building code that governed the rebuilding of the city. The rats found fewer homes in tiled roofs than in thatch, and the plague spread much more slowly.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  19. #19

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    I hope you folks do realize that, if I ever go West to hike, a cat and tile-roofed shelter are going to send my pack's base weight off the charts...

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    Ha...damn I head out to jmt in 3 weeks! The wife is all over this crap!


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