Author(s): Christie AB, Chen TH, Elberg SS
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Abstract In 1976, in a small, remote Libyan village, one apparently sick camel was slaughtered and skinned, and the camel meat was distributed for human comsumption. A few days later, 15 villagers suffered a severe febrile illness. Of the five individuals who had participated in the killing and dispensation of the camel, all were dead within four days. When samples of serum from nine of the remaining patients were examined, seven were found to be positive for plague as determined by the passive hemagglutination test. Another six persons became ill after killing two goats, and the serum of one goat contained antibodies to Yersinia pestis. Because all of the remaining patients except one were treated early enough, they recovered. These incidents confirm previous reports that the camel and the goat are susceptible to naturally occurring plague infection and have a significant role in the dissemination of human plague.
This article was published in J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense