Well, isn’t this just lovely.

Apparently, some bioweapon sensors went off during the big DC antiwar protest — and a week later, the CDC has finally gotten it together to mention it. If anyone who was there feels like they have a cold, they’re supposed to see a doctor — otherwise, possible khhhk! (fatal finger across throat).

Francisella tularensis

No, we’re not kidding. Yes, it’s quite strange to us, as well, that there was a known bioagent detected at the Mall, and nobody said anything until after the standard incubation period of the organism in question.

[Update just posted here. I’ve been wary of linking to the WashPost lately because of their online edition’s new blogs-who-link-to-this-story feature — which apparently sends flocks of Post readers crashing through people’s windows and leaving comments like, “Blogs are funny — they’re the new thing!” And truly, we already (as of midnight tonight) have Charles of LGF nice and hopping mad, and linking to us even though he knows he oughtn’t to. So it might be interesting tomorrow; we’ll see.]

So yes, fatal disease. It’s hard to know whether to be alarmed, because the Post is doing its customary softshoe of quoting official sources saying that everything is all normal, like it normally is. And when things go haywire, you pretty much have to figure it out yourself, because your first clue in the Post is liable to be a retrospective piece sub-headlined, “How Things Went So Haywire Without Anyone Noticing.” Anyway, was anything else going on in DC that day? Oh yeah, this.

Now, not to put too fine a point on it, but there certainly seem to be a lot of coincidences involving disaster-preparedness exercises and, you know, unrelated incidents with planes flying into buildings and germ agents being released and all that sort of thing. It really gets tiresome after awhile. Some of those lovable nuts at the Daily Kos diary section were predicting some kind of government terror incident during the protests, based on the William Arkin ‘Granite Shadow’ column linked above, and damn it if events don’t keep failing to discourage such speculation. I’m not saying anything; I’m just talking here.

By the way, does anyone know how this case is progressing? (Rhetorical question, by the way.)


Comments: 18


What the hell was that Post guy talkign about. I’m gonna read it again tomorrow. I am too tired and bloated with Vietnamese food to put two and two together, let alone complex Gavin math. Goodnight Internets! And good luck!


I hate to say it… but doesn’t MJ deserve a hat tip?
(Even if she did encase it in tinfoil and feces caked diapers when she handed it to us).

Thanks CDC for being so prompt- I could have been exposed, dammit!
My roomate was in DC for the protest… and I’ve been sick with what was presumed to be a throat infection for a couple days, which (I shit you not) caused some flu-like symptoms. Saw the doctor, no blood work, she just checked me out as called it a throat infection- I’ve been on amoxicillin for three days… creepy, no?

(PS: I’m sure it was totally coincidence, that I got sick three days after my roomate returned from DC, and after a couple days on antibiotics I’m feeling fine- and severe sore throat (most prominent of my symptoms) isn’t probably consistant with this infection… still, a rather fucked up coincidence).


It is unlikely Dr. Zack sent the accusatory letter, since it would have brought immediate attention upon himself and his suspicious activities a decade earlier. Also, it is equally difficult to believe Dr. Zack was responsible for the anthrax mailings.” says Robert Pate

— really? So where is this great cloud of suspicion over Dr. Philip M. Zack, Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army? In terms of original research, I can only find it here


After checking the link, I think I’ve entered bizarro world:

Possible symptoms include skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, diarrhea or pneumonia. If the bacteria are inhaled, symptoms can include abrupt onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough, and progressive weakness.

The incubation period (the time from being exposed to becoming ill) for tularemia is typically 3 to 5 days

Okay, shit- The bold indicate my symptoms, brought about by dehydration and throat infection (according to my physician, again, with no blood work or even a swab- just physical exam of the affected area), which are amongst the symptoms of this agent. All of these I ended up with between three and five days after my roommate returned.
Again- It’s a total coincidence, but shit, if I were more of a hypocondriac, I’d be going nuts.
(Again, I’d like to emphisize that I’m feeling good and my symptoms are gone, and I’m sure my roomate and his friends weren’t even near the exposed area).

Damn it… that’s weird as hell.


I’m a bit stunned.

You’re not supposed to be able to get it via human transmission, but it also takes only a few organisms to transmit the disease. Without knowing anything more about it than I’ve read, it seems possible that his belongings might have carried a trace of it into the house. I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but it seems speculable, if that’s a word.


That’s what leads me to be near certain (99.999 or so) that it’s just a coincidence (we got a cold front into town around that time, which would have dried out my sinuses and left me highly vunerable to infection- it happens a few times every year, albeit usually not until late October or first frost).
Of course, I’ve got crazy bad luck when it comes to disease (I’m a one out of ten million suceptibility to certain types of steriods used in some asthma inhalers), but not that bad, I don’t think 😉
Luckily for me, I’ve recieved proper treatment for this infection, as well as your garden variety infection- so it’s a moot point anyway.
Still- I can’t believe the timing, cause that’s just weird.


One other important note:

No one else has gotten similar symptoms in the building (he and his friends are spread across three floors), so I’m satisfied as to innocence of the situation.


Here’s a little bit about Stalingrad and the organism in question:

Although no doubt exacerbated by wartime conditions at Stalingrad we believe that the tularemia epidemic of 1942-1943 was a natural outbreak. With regard to the high percentage of pleural involvement reported by Alibek (and others) one should note that even in the 1960s the mechanism of the disease process was not well understood nor was it certain if there was a primary pulmonary form of tularemia.[4] The fact that a large percentage of tularemia infections were associated with pleural involvement–an outcome that could have been induced via other portals of entry–may not he very helpful in identifying the route of the initial infection.


When inhaled as an aerosol, fewer than 50 F. tularensis bacteria can cause disease in humans. Because of this high infectivity, tularemia was investigated as a BW agent by both the United States and the former Soviet Union. Ingestion of bacteria, presumably a cause for at least a significant percentage of civilian tularemia cases during the siege of Stalingrad, requires as many as 1 billion organisms to cause disease. According to the literature, the severity of disease caused by the European-variant is somewhat milder than that of the biovar found in North America



Nice job on LGF people.

Hysterical Woman

Hey! I was there for the National Book Fair!


Chazmo seemed pretty irate. Doesn’t linking to S,N! constitute breaking his little LGF prayer? Oh yeah, he’s milking his victim role. he loves that.


“Francisella tularensis.” What a darling name! I’m going to name my first adopted Hmong daughter Francisella Tularensis, and she will be the most popular girl at the ballet academy.


Lucy, lemme splain it to you……………………………………………..

‘WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Small amounts of a bacteria that causes “rabbit fever” were found on Washington’s National Mall last weekend as thousands of protesters marched against the Iraq War, U.S. health authorities said on Saturday.’……………………………………………..

Take a bath you skank.


Elmo, we already knew that. What did you think this post was about? Oh, and thanks for calling all those soccer mom’s skanks.


Hysterical Woman …. you folks really do live in a parallel universe. The post was just another, in a very l o n g line of proofs of BDS. Bush bad, Bush evil. Everything is a conspiracy. Soccer moms? Give me a break. Percentile breakdown of the participants, by age/demographic? Soccer moms, that’s rich. So, in the parallel universe you inhabit, it is only ok to call conservative women names. You people are neeekin’ fruts. In 2008, a Republican will be lected President. Again. And you Bozo’s still won’t be able to figure out why. Other than disinfo’ing conspiracy/election fraud/elec machines. Of course, if a Dem wins (which will not happen, Thank You Very Much). The election then went off without a hitch. You people are &$#@*’ing insane. Ta ta, adios, sayonara, OOOXXXOOO Elmo.


Father TYme: “I can use whatever force against them and they can’t do anything legally?” You people really can’t be so fookin’ stooopid AND deranged, can you? It just does not seem possible to me. Anyway, I feel my head about to explode from the fumes you folks give off here in LLL land. Can’t say I will or won’t be back. Been fun and all that. OOOXXXOOO Elmo


Me no like Elmo off his meds. “L” is for Lithium — that’s good enough for you!


Whenever lgf links to anything, it’s like someone in the room let loose a spectacularly bad cabbage fart. This fart spreads and lingers, angering and bilwildering all who catch a nosefull of it, but like all farts, it will dissapate eventually, leaving only vaguely offended visages behind as evidence of it’s manifestation.
Also they come out of a rectum.


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