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Epidemic of Pneumonic Plague in Ukraine?

Posted by feww on October 30, 2009

UPDATE – 9 NOV 2009

  • As of November 9, 155 people have died from swine flu and acute respiratory infections, including 11 people on November 8, Ukraine’s Interfax reported the Health Ministry as saying.
    • Total number of flu and respiratory diseases: 969,247
    • No of cases hospitalized: 48,972
    • Patients currently in intensive care: 446
  • Of the 11 people who died on November 8, three were in Chernivtsi region, two in Lviv, two in Ivano-Frankivsk, two in Rivne, one in Vinnytsia and one in Khmelnytsky regions, Interfax said.  “The epidemic threshold for influenza and acute respiratory infections has been exceeded in 13 regions and in Kyiv.”  Flu, respiratory infections kill 155 in Ukraine
  • “Government officials have gone on national television to deny other rumours that rural western Ukraine is in the grip of a deadly unnamed plague.” Globe and Mail

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko wears a protective mask as she visits a hospital in Ivano-Frankivsk. Ukraine has closed schools and banned public meetings for a three-week period after confirming its first death from the H1N1 flu. Photo: Alexander Prokopenko/Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

  • “KIEV, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s leader Viktor Yushchenko on Sunday dismissed the idea a January election should be delayed because of flu fears and appeared to accept there would be no more IMF funds forthcoming until after the vote.” Reuters
  • Slovakia is  closing  all but one road border crossing with Ukraine  because of Ukraine’s “flu epidemic.” Reuters

UPDATE – 5 NOV 2009

“The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that as of Wednesday, some 500,000 cases of acute respiratory illness and 86 related deaths had been reported in Ukraine.” —Reuters

For more links, other headlines


“Plague epidemic” has reportedly killed 7 adults, with pneumonia claiming another 20  in the Ternopil region of Ukraine

SHOCK! Epidemic of pneumonic plague in Ukraine? (updated at 05:39 pm)

A closed meeting has been held in Ivano-Frankivsk, at which participants agreed that epidemic of the so-called “pneumonic plague” is being spread throughout Ukraine. But the problem is its form is unknown, it is ATYPICAL nobody knows how to treat it.

PNEUMONIC PLAGUE has an acute course than other forms, over and is accompanied by a very high mortality rate. The incubation period of primary pneumonic plague rarely exceeds more than 1-4 days. It begins, as a rule, suddenly – with shivering, fever, headache, myalgia, weakness, nausea. The symptoms of pneumonia – cough with phlegm, chest pain, shortness of breath – usually appear on the second day of the disease. Blood spitting, growing respiratory disorders, heart failure, respiratory failure, shock are being observed. In primary pneumonic plague phlegm usually is watery or mucinous, foamy, with blood or visibly bloody.

A secondary pneumonic plague occurs as interstitial pneumonia. Phlegm is scanty and more dense and viscous than in primary pulmonary plague. It is believed that in this regard, patients are less contagious.

As a reminder, yesterday, on October 28 flu epidemic in the Ternopil Region, which had appeared a week ago, mowed down nearly 10,000 of residents. Moreover – unknown virus has already killed seven people. Ministry of Health has confirmed 20 deaths from pneumonia in Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv Regions. By Yulia Makoveeva,

China’s Ministry of Health reported an outbreak of pneumonic plague in Qinghai Province, China, in August, with 12 confirmed cases, of which at least three died. Up to ten thousand people were placed under quarantine in the town of Ziketan in Qinghai province in northwest China.

For more information on plague, infection control, symptoms and treatment, see

4 Responses to “Epidemic of Pneumonic Plague in Ukraine?”

  1. Anonymous said

  2. feww said

    What others say:

    H1N1 to cause more deaths in northern winter – WHO

    Ukraine leader attacks rivals over flu epidemic

    Swine Flu Mania In Kyiv

    Death toll rises to 86 in Ukraine flu epidemic (AFP)

    Flu death toll rises to 86 in Ukraine

    Yushchenko called on to help Ukraine: Unknown virus is killing people

    Ukraine: Influenza or Pneumonic Plague? The situation is getting worse and worse

    LETTERS: Swine Flu Infecting Politics
    Swine Flu, Mystery Virus Or Pure Hype: What Is Going On In Ukraine?

    Tymoshenko: Don’t panic during flu epidemic

  3. feww said

    Uganda: Plague- Poor Hygiene Sparks Outbreak in Nebbi, Arua

    Thomas Pere – 25 October 2009

    Kampala — KANGO is one of the eight sub-counties in Nebbi district that has been severely hit by plague. The disease, which attacks rodents, is caused by bacteria.

    It is transmitted when an infected flea bites a person. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rats are potential hosts of fleas.

    “The plague is locally known as zukpa. It usually occurs at the end of the dry season and because its victims die in a short time, the locals believe it is a result of witchcraft,” James Jamoro, a health assistant in charge of the sub-county, said.

    Plague is a vector-borne disease that contributes to significant illnesses and deaths in the communities.

    Ben Munguni, a Red Cross volunteer in Kango Health Centre III, says: “When someone complains of headache, diarrhoea, general body pain and vomiting, it is advisable to test for plague immediately.”

    Plague manifests in three forms depending on the route of infection. The most common is bubonic plague.

    Patients develop swollen, tender lymph glands called buboes. This form does not spread from person-to-person.

    The second form is septicemic plague.

    It occurs when plague bacteria multiply in the blood. Patients get a fever, abdominal pain, and bleeding from the skin and other organs. This also does not spread from person-to-person.

    The third type is pneumonic plague. It is the most virulent and least common. It infects the lungs. This type can spread from person-to-person through the air, especially if one is in direct contact with an infected person or animal.

    It also occurs if untreated bubonic or septicemic plague bacteria spreads to the lungs.

    Richard Ndyomugenyi, the programme manager of the National Malaria Control Programme, at the launch of a plague prevention campaign in Nebbi, said the last outbreak occurred in November 2008. There is fear of another outbreak in 2009 with the coming of El-Nino rains.

    “The fatality rate of plague in the region is 20%, which is very high for a preventable and curable disease.

    Children, women and the elderly are the most affected though all age groups are vulnerable to the disease,” Ndyomugenyi added.


    – Sharing houses with animals, sleeping on dusty cracked floors.

    – Hunting wildlife for meat.

    – Poor food storage practices.

    – Seeking health attention late for those exposed to flea bites.

    – Poor housing construction that allows rats to enter houses.


    – Flu.

    – Fever, chills, head and body aches.

    – General body weakness.

    – Vomiting and nausea.


    Dr. Jakor Oryema, the district health officer, says plague has been around from the 1930s and then cases have continued to occur annually during the rainy season and the dry period from around September.

    “The worst epidemic was in 1993 where all the three types manifested,” he added. He says the causes leading to persistent epidemics in Okoro are related to the low socio-economic standards of the people.

    “Much as we know what needs to be done, resources for doing those things remain a big challenge,” he said.

    Low literacy and socio-economic levels of people, poor housing infrastructure and food storage practices also compound the problem.

    Launching the plague prevention campaign at Kango sub-county Nebbi, Simon Ejua, the state minister for transport, said plague is a priority disease by WHO because of its quick spread.

    “Outbreaks occur annually in spite of public awareness, chemical spraying and human quarantine measures.”

    “The ministry of health, with other partners, has come up with a multi-sectoral approach to prevent, control and eliminate the disease in the region,” he added.

    He says the new approach brings together individuals with diverse expertise and combined effort to fight and control plague.

    The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recommends diagnosis of patients with suspected plague. The patient should be isolated and the health departments notified.

    Confirmatory laboratory work should be done including blood cultures and examination of lymph node specimens.

    Treatment using antibiotics begins immediately, CDC recommends.

    Individuals who take care of the patient, should be traced and evaluated to avoid further spread of the disease.

    Way forward

    Oryema suggests the following:

    Indoor residual spraying, using ICON which also kills mosquitoes.

    Community sensitisation through radio talkshows on plague prevention.

    Deworming livestock.

    Promotion of proper food storage methods and clearing bushes around homesteads.

    Rid houses of dust where fleas live and breed.
    Copyright © 2009 New Vision. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

  4. […] Ukraine H1N1 Outbreaks 7. Ukraine Orders Mobile Military Hospitals  for H1N1 Caseload 8. “Plague epidemic” has reportedly killed 7 adults, with pneumonia claiming another 20  in the Te… 9. ATYPICAL “PNEUMONIC PLAGUE” IS BEING SPREAD THROUGHOUT UKRAINE, NOBODY KNOWS HOW TO […]

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