Monday, August 14, 2017

Bubonic Plague fleas found in Arizona.

I know that as a Straight White Male I'm not allowed to talk about illegal immigration. Tough shit, I'm going to anyway.

One of the most important reasons for having borders and immigration controls in place is to prevent the spread of contagious disease. Back in the old days, if you caught tuberculosis or something like bubonic plague, you died. So countries like Canada and the USA made a very large and very expensive effort to keep people with those diseases out of the country by screening all prospective immigrants.

When you have people sneaking into the country, those screens are obviously not done. Diseases spread, and people die.

Enter the humble flea. One of the things fleas do is jump from rodents to people. Another thing they do is carry the Bubonic Plague bacteria. They can live for a long time after being infected, and their bite transmits the disease.

One of the things that happens to people when they sleep outside is they can get fleas. You lie down a few feet from a hidden mouse nest or prairie dog hole, you get fleas on you.

In a situation where hundreds or even thousands of people are moving through the desert from Mexico, some of them are going to get flea bites.

So what? So fleas carrying the Bubonic Plague have been found in Arizona.

Health officials are urging people to take precautions after a second Arizona county in two weeks confirmed that fleas in the area have tested positive for plague.

The announcement by Navajo County Public Health officials on Friday comes one week after Coconino County officials found prairie dogs in the area to be carrying fleas with the plague -- the infectious disease infamous for killing millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages.

The fleas in Navajo County were found near the town of Taylor.

Health officials have notified the residents whose property will be treated. The area will be closely monitored to determine if further action is required.

People are advised to take certain measures to reduce the risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed on these animals.

The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal.

It is not unlikely that a migrant or two may end up catching the plague, if the fleas are having a good year and spreading widely. Bugs do that. Some years their numbers increase.

Why do we care? Because this is the Plague we're talking about here. This shit is fatal if untreated and as contagious as the common cold. Picture if you will an overcrowded holding facility full of men, women and little kids, all happily swapping germs in the not-very-sanitary government facility, then being put on trains and buses and airplanes for delivery to small towns all over America.

If you wanted to kill a whole lot of people by disease, that would be the best possible way to do it. That's the current US Immigration system. The one that Trump is a Nazi for trying to change.

The Phantom


Linda Fox said...

Things have changed since the Plague Years.

We have antibiotics. We understand the role of fleas, and alternate vectors in the spread of disease.

So, no, this is more likely to be stopped in the immediate area.

The Phantom said...

I agree, it is most likely to be stopped in the immediate area. Given healthcare in the USA the way it is practiced now.


How many cases of this do you want to see, Linda? These are real people we're talking about, crammed in together in unsanitary conditions. The potential for a disaster is high.

You are also assuming the infected people -get- healthcare. That will not necessarily be the case, if the authorities let them wander around out there the way they were doing in the Bush and Obama regimes. The Plague could easily infect dozens of people is some illegal shanty town in California, and kill a bunch of them before anyone thinks to call the ambulance.

I'm saying there is a profound risk from plague fleas and plague in the South West desert environment, and the authorities are -ignoring- it.

Can it happen in the USA? Oh. Yeah. It can:

Death toll so far, from Hep A, an eminently preventable disease, 17. That's not some third world crap hole like Haiti, m'dear, that's San Diego. Super liberal, super New Age beach town in California, home of Apple, Google, high technology.

When you ignore basic public health rules and basic sanitation because of political mumbo-jumbo, Mother Nature will kick your ass every single time.