All roads into and out of Ziketan area had been closed. The official, who answered the emergency line at Renmin Hospital in Ziketan, said it was unclear when the blockade would be lifted. Repeated calls to a plague emergency phone line produced only busy signals.
Pneumonic plague. Prognosis and treatment.
Pneumonic plague is a very aggressive infection requiring rapid antibiotic treatment within around 24 hours of infection. Mass Casualty Setting and Postexposure Prophylaxis for Adults is Doxycycline, 100 mg orally twice daily and Ciprofloxacin 500 mg orally twice daily. Alternative choices: Chloramphenicol, 25 mg/kg orally 4 times daily.
Early treatment of pneumonic plague is essential. To reduce the risk of death, antibiotics must be given within 24 hours of first symptoms. Streptomycin, gentamicin, tetracyclines, and chloramphenicol are all effective against pneumonic plague.
Antibiotic treatment for 7 days will protect people who have had direct, close contact with infected patients. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against infection.
Without treatment, the mortality rate from pneumonic plague approaches 100%.
Pneumonic plague, which attacks the lungs, is closely related to bubonic plague, which killed scores of millions worldwide in the 1300s. While bubonic plague is commonly spread by flea bites, the deadlier pneumonic plague bacteria is spread through the air by coughing, and it kills about 6 in 10 sufferers if it is not treated, according to the W.H.O.
The W.H.O. spokeswoman, Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, said that China regularly reported small, outbreaks of bubonic plague but that having it evolves into pneumonic plague was “unexpected.”
The organization said that the mortality rate could be reduced to about 15 percent through treatment with common antibiotics.
Most cases of plague occur in Africa, but the United States records about 10 to 15 cases a year, mostly in rural areas.