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Pneumonic plague is no stranger to L.A. -- we've had our own epidemic

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With China moving to control an outbreak of pneumonic plague, it's worth noting that the disease doesn't occur only in places for which Americans need a passport to visit. In fact, Los Angeles has dubious bragging rights to the United States' most recent rat-borne epidemic.

Here's a review of that epidemic from the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.

The recap begins: "On October 29, 1924, a physician requested an ambulance from the Los Angeles
County General Hospital for Two Mexican patients critically ill of a malady which he could not definitely diagnose, but which he knew to be highly contagious since several others in the neighborhood were also affected with similar symptoms of very high fever and pains in the back and chest. The following day 13 other cases displaying the same symptoms were detected and subsequently admitted to the hospital,
where they all developed signs of severe pneumonia, with bloody expectoration and marked cyanosis."
 
 

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