Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Transmission dynamics of primary pneumonic plague in the USA

  • A. F. HINCKLEY (a1), B. J. BIGGERSTAFF (a1), K. S. GRIFFITH (a1) and P. S. MEAD (a1)
Abstract
SUMMARY

Plague is thought to have killed millions during three catastrophic pandemics. Primary pneumonic plague, the most severe form of the disease, is transmissible from person-to-person and has the potential for propagating epidemics. Efforts to quantify its transmission potential have relied on published data from large outbreaks, an approach that artificially inflates the basic reproductive number (R0) and skews the distribution of individual infectiousness. Using data for all primary pneumonic plague cases reported in the USA from 1900 to 2009, we determined that the majority of cases will fail to transmit, even in the absence of antimicrobial treatment or prophylaxis. Nevertheless, potential for sustained outbreaks still exists due to superspreading events. These findings challenge current concepts regarding primary pneumonic plague transmission.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr A. F. Hinckley, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3150 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA. (Email: ahinckley@cdc.gov)
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.JL Kool . Risk of person-to-person transmission of pneumonic plague. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2005; 40: 11661172.

2.AS Khan , S Morse , S Lillibridge . Public-health preparedness for biological terrorism in the USA. Lancet 2000; 356: 11791182.

3.LD Rotz , Public health assessment of potential biological terrorism agents. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2002; 8: 225230.

5.107th Congress of the United States. Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. Public Law 107–188.

7.RM Anderson , RM May . Infectious Diseases of Humans: Dynamics and Control. London: Oxford University Press, 1991.

8.KJ Rothman , S Greenland . Modern Epidemiology, 2nd edn.Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 1998.

9.CT Bauch , Dynamically modeling SARS and other newly emerging respiratory illnesses: past, present, and future. Epidemiology 2005; 16: 791801.

10.M Lipsitch , Transmission dynamics and control of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Science 2003; 300: 19661970.

11.JO Lloyd-Smith , Superspreading and the effect of individual variation on disease emergence. Nature 2005; 438: 355359.

12.S Riley , Transmission dynamics of the etiological agent of SARS in Hong Kong: impact of public health interventions. Science 2003; 300: 19611966.

14.Z Shen , Superspreading SARS events, Beijing, 2003. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2004; 10: 256260.

15.R Gani , S Leach . Epidemiologic determinants for modeling pneumonic plague outbreaks. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2004; 10: 608614.

16.H Nishiura , Transmission potential of primary pneumonic plague: time inhomogeneous evaluation based on historical documents of the transmission network. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2006; 60: 640645.

17.RF Potthoff , M Whittinghill . Testing for homogeneity. II. The Poisson distribution. Biometrika 1966; 53: 183190.

18.D Wong , Primary pneumonic plague contracted from a mountain lion carcass. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2009; 49: e33–38.

19.R Blue . History of Plague cases 116 and 117. Public Health Reports 1904; 19: 359360.

20.WH Kellogg . An epidemic of pneumonic plague. American Journal of Public Health (New York, NY) 1920; 10: 599605.

22.VB Link . A history of plague in United States of America. Public Health Monograph 1955; 26: 1120.

24.C Dye , N Gay . Epidemiology. Modeling the SARS epidemic. Science 2003; 300: 18841885.

26.S Davis , The abundance threshold for plague as a critical percolation phenomenon. Nature 2008; 454: 634637.

27.TV Inglesby , Plague as a biological weapon: medical and public health management. Working Group on Civilian Biodefense. Journal of the American Medical Association 2000; 283: 22812290.

28.G Morelli , Yersinia pestis genome sequencing identifies patterns of global phylogenetic diversity. Nature Genetics 2010 42: 11401143.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: