portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

government | health

Bubonic Plague Infested Mice Disappear from Bio-terror Lab.

Three mice infected with the bacteria that causes bubonic plague disappeared from a laboratory in Newark, NJ about 2 weeks ago. The mice are missing from the Public Health Research Institute at the University of Medicine and Dentistry. This lab conducts bio-terrorism research for the federal government.
One of the ways people contract bubonic plague is from infected rodents.

The three missing mice are from a group of 24 mice who have been injected with a bacterium that causes various forms of the plague, including bubonic plague. These mice are part of a massive government project to develop vaccines against biological weapons.

From abcnews.com:
"This is the black death," said Richard Ebright, a microbiologist at Rutgers University. "This is the disease that killed a quarter of Europe's population."...The Public Health Research Institute concedes the missing mice are a problem..."Even though we process 10,000 animals and we can account for nearly all of them, the fact that we couldn't account for three are three too many," said Dr. David Perlin, a researcher at the institute.

Microbiologist Richard Ebright, was also quoted by www.physorg.com:

"Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University microbiologist and a critic of the government's rapid expansion of bio-terrorism labs, said federal guidelines call for only minimal security at such laboratories -- a lock on the lab door and a lock on the sample container and cage.

"You have more security at a McDonald's than at some of these facilities," Ebright told the newspaper."

Federal officials and the lab concede that the animals may have been stolen. The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating.

These new bio-terror labs have cost us billions. Don't we feel safer?

homepage: homepage: http://www.whitecoatwelfare.org


ring around the rosy 18.Sep.2005 16:23

pocket full of poseys

ashes, ashes
we all fall down

McDonalds... 18.Sep.2005 17:56

skippy

Mcdogfoods has done way more health damage to the United States than Bubonic Plague... So maybe they do need more security.

It is interesting that doing gubmint funded bioterrorism research involves breeding and infecting potential bioterrorist mice. What's the great social benefit here?

This isn't a big deal... 18.Sep.2005 21:16

@

Bubonic plague responds quickly to anti-biotics. It still exists in the wild in places like the mountains and deserts of California. The only reason it killed so many during the middle ages is because anti-biotics had not be discovered yet. There will be no massive dying from bubonic plague in the present or in the future. That the media has hyped this shows that the media is knowingly engaged in fear mongering.

Hey, what's the difference between a lawyer and a lab rat?... 19.Sep.2005 11:03

Pravda or Consequences

There are just some things a lab rat won't do (voluntarily).

By the time the FBI gets on the trail of the suspected theft of these creatures, the mice will have probably inbred with their New Jersey friends and are now working up and down the east coast spreading the love and all that hard work those scientists have done. Of course these geniuses have put tracking devices on the mice, right?

Mission accomplished.

I KNOW 19.Sep.2005 20:00

FLOYD

lets send fema, i just know they can find those mice. lol


There's notices about Plague infected rodents in California campgrounds... 19.Sep.2005 22:37

camper

Interesting that I am reading about this on this website...

I was just in a campground south of the oregon line, just into California.

We brought 2 dogs, and went swimming for a couple hours.

There were around a dozen others at the campsite, all of them hispanic who didn't speak english to any of us, although they conversed in spanish with one person in our group...

I went to use one of the nice outhouses they had, and when I came out, there was a small sign, a little over a foot high, in only english that explained that there was a likelihood of rodents infested with "the Plague" in this campground, and if we got any flu-like symptoms within 7 days to go to our nearest health facility, strongly advising bringing dogs that might be bitten by fleas to the campsite.

And there was a number at the bottom, I wrote it down, but didn't write down the name of the California Dept that it belonged to. My friend translated the sign into Spanish. We left. The number has been disconnected...

Has anyone else heard about 'the Plague' being in California Campgrounds???

hmmm 19.Sep.2005 22:41

just did a google search

looks like this has been going on in california parks for a really long time... looks like the plague isn't just in these 3 escaped mice!!

 http://www.msmosquito.com/plague.html

first human cases of the plague since 1928 19.Sep.2005 22:46

in california... 1994


incompetent bioweapon labs are a "big deal" 21.Sep.2005 20:04

Elaine Close

Whether or not you consider it "fear mongering" to worry about bubonic plague, fear is a reasonable reaction to the lax security at these labs. These labs where set up to handle the most deadly pathogens in the world. Their proliferation is giving access to these pathogens to many, many more people. If someone can steal bubonic plague-infected rats from this allegedly high security lab, what about the rats they are infecting with Ebola, etc.?


And of course, lots of people don't have access to medicine. Just because something is treatable with antibiotics, doesn't mean it won't be deadly. People in this country die from treatable diseases all the time. We certainly can't count on the government in case of an outbreak.