Mysterious plague outbreak among Syrian army

Y. pestis

An outbreak of plague, which is considerd a potential bioweapon, among the Syrian military may be raising more questions than answers.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recently ordered the shutdown of all Syrian military exercises due to a plague that currently affects a large number of military personnel, according to Examiner.com.

The Syrian president has told Syrian news sources that food and drinking water in military bases, coupled with one of the country’s worst droughts in over 40 years, are responsible for the outbreak of plague.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are experiencing food shortages, nearly 60,000 small livestock owners have lost all their animals and 50,000 others have lost 50 to 60 percent of their cattle.

The infectious bacterium Yersinia pestis causes the infectious disease plague, which is commonly found worldwide in rats and other rodents. Fleas often serve as common vectors of plague. There are three forms of human plague – bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

Humans may also be infected by direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and, if it is pneumonic plague, by person to person contact.

Drinking water, food and a heat wave are not common causes of plague, Examiner.com says, unless they have increased the contact between humans and plague carriers.

Because of this, the article says, questions should be raised about the true cause of the Syrian army plague.

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