how to avoid the plague

How to Survive the Plague
Secrets for Surviving the next plague

Get out your Thieves Oil* and have your pandemic masks and fish antibiotics*
ready, because there have been outbreaks of the plague in modern times...

Ashes to ashes we all fall down! The famous nursery rhyme and children's game is
with us still today to remind us of the pandemic that almost crushed our civilization.
The gruesome Black Plague of the Dark Ages, also called the great pestilence, was
the greatest biological disaster of mankind.

Its name is Yersinia pestis, and this dreaded pandemic, known to us as The Black
Plague, is in the United States!

  • Oregon girl gets the plague (Oct. 29, 2015). Many people think of the plague
    as an ancient disease, but it still haunts us today. An Oregon teenage girl
    tested positive for bubonic plague, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

  • Colorado, June 2015 and August 2015: A 16-year old boy from Larimer
    County. Colorado died in June, and in early August officials from Pueblo City
    Colorado announced an adult had died from the plague; however, no
    detailers were released on the person who died.

  • Flagstaff, Arizona April 2015: Did you know that Arizona has had 64 cases of
    the disease since 1950?  The state averages about two human cases

This is a
pandemic with a dark past and many secrets...

Secrets of the Plague and how to survive...

Secret #1:  One of the biggest secrets of the Black plague is that
there were many "super survivors."
When we think of the Black Plague, we often think of entire villages getting wiped
out by this devastating pandemic. The truth is, however, that many of our ancestors
remained unscathed despite living alongside plague victims. In other words, we
didn't "all fall down" during the bubonic plague, which was happy news indeed!

Even more happy news for mankind followed the plague when all was said and
done. Our ancestors, these "super survivors," were also healthier thanks to a better
diet and lifestyle.  You see, the survivors improved their living conditions, because
there were fewer people in the work force and they were able to charge more for
their labor. Diets improved because laborers had more money to spend on meats
and grains. This actually made them healthier in the end. Our ancestors improved
their stamina.

Secret #2:  Another great secret is that the plague still lurks!
Unfortunately, the plague is still lurking and taunting humanity though we seem to
think of the plague as something we've overcome.

In fact, if you live in
Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada or New Mexico, the plague
has already been in your state recently! If you live in Australia or Europe, your
territory has not seen the plague since the end of World War II and you can sigh
some relief. Here is the latest plague scare:

The truth is that plagues come and go. We as humans get smarter, and so does the
bacteria. Currently the plague in Madagascar is more virulent than the strain from
Dark Ages. Of 119 cases,
the plague has killed dozens in Madagascar (January 31,
2010), according to the World Health Organization.

Secret #3: Rats aren't the cause of the plague.
Another dark secret is that rats aren't' the cause of the plague. Images of rats and
filth infiltrate when we think of the black plague. While it's true that rats are a
vector, they are only partially responsible. It's the fleas that carry the disease and
hitch a ride on the backs of rats to spread the terror of the plague. The true culprits
are the fleas who hitch a ride on all sorts of animals -- from small rodents all the way
up to the tallest camels. In the United states, you are not immune from the fleas and
here is just one example:

Secret #4: There are actually three kinds of plagues!
The plague has three other secrets. Medieval Europe suffered from the bubonic
plague, but two other plagues have since emerged into our purview (and they all
differ in symptoms and in how the disease is spread). There are a total of three
kinds of plagues (and it's important to know which kind may lurk in your area):

  • Bubonic Plague is spread through fleas and rodents (and sometimes also
    through infected clothing). The bubonic plague affects the lymph system
    (tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus).

  • Pneumonic Plague is spread through the air, rather than just by contact. It is
    the most contagious form of the plague (and this is the one that has recently
    shown up in Colorado).

  • Septicemic Plague is spread through fleas and rodents (it is rarely spread
    from human to human).

Secret #5: Survival rate is high if you have the right medicine.
The plague is highly treatable, which may make some people sigh relief, but not true
of preppers who know the coveted treatment may be unavailable.

Before the discovery of antibiotics, roughly 60% of affected individuals would die of
the plague. Compare that to today's 10% death rate! The reason preppers should
prep for the plague is because antibiotics and prescriptions for them simply may not
be available!

Once symptoms start, and without treatment, the plague could kill approximately
two thirds of infected humans within four days. For these reasons, it's wise to take a
measure of preparedness. Learn how to survive the next great plague!

How to Survive the Next Great Plague
Below we've outlined ten steps to surviving the next plague...

Step One: Know where and how plague transmits.
To stop the next infection from spreading, you must understand how and where it
spreads. This article aims to educate you quickly...

Where the plague has been found in the United States in the past decated:
The plague has been found in the Western United States, including:
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Nevada and
  • New Mexico

How the plague transmits:
Most agree that the famous plague started through a bacillus, vector borne
transmission, carried by fleas; however, a plague of the future might also spread by
air, by direct contact,  by contaminated materials or even by undercooked food.

  • Vector-borne: Transmission carried by insects, such as fleas, or other animals
    such as rodents. Get rid of pests and have flea traps and mouse traps on
    hand. Did you know that there are more than 200 different rodents that can
    serve as hosts to the plague? Hosts  may  include:
  • chipmunks
  • domestic cats and dogs,
  • marmots,
  • prairie dogs
  • squirrels,
  • deer mice
  • rabbits, hares,
  • rock squirrels
  • sheep.

  • Contaminated food or water: Transmission through fecal matter
    contaminating food or water.

  • Droplet contact: Transmission of infected person through coughing or
    sneezing on another. The plague may be transmitted through cough droplets
    according to the CDC. When a person breathes in bacteria containing droplets
    of the plague pneumonia, he or she may become infected.

  • Direct physical contact: Transmission by touching an infected person or

  • Indirect contact: Transmission by touching contaminated soil or other
    contaminated surface.

  • Airborne: Transmission through air. The person breathes in the Yersinia
    pestis particles and becomes infected in the lungs (pneumonic plague).  
    "Becoming infected in this way usually requires direct and close contact with
    the ill person or animal," according to the Center's for Disease Control (CDC).

Step two: Know the three kinds of plague.
The Bubonic Plague, also called the Black Plague, is a severe and potentially fatal
bacterial infection of the lymph nodes. Many people do not realize that there are
actually three kinds of plague (all three plagues are bacterial infections):

    #1: Bubonic plague is an infection of the lymph nodes (and spread through
    flea bites). Symptoms of bubonic plague come after 2 - 5 days of exposure to
    the bacteria. Without treatment 50% of people with bubonic plague die.

    #2: Pneumonic plague is an infection of the lungs (and spreads from
    human to human). Symptoms of pneumonic plague appear 2 - 3 days after
    exposure to the bacteria. Pneumonic plague patients require isolation. As with
    exposure to Ebola, anyone who has had contact with a pneumonic plague
    patient, needs to self quarantine. As well, antibiotics are a good preventative
    measure for anyone who has been exposed.

    #3: Septicemic plague is an infection of the blood. The Septicemic plague is
    caused in the same ways as bubonic plague; however, buboes do not
    develop. Unfortunately, the Septicemic plague may cause death well before
    any symptoms occur.

Step Three: Know the Symptoms.
Raging thirst, fever of above 107, and delirium are the foremost of symptoms. The
plague, appears about two to five days after exposure. Soon
gangrene sets in, along with muscle cramps and seizures, and the telltale swollen
rings on the skin called bubuos. Bleeding from the ears is another horrific symptom.

#1: Bubonic plague symptoms (lymph nodes), include:
  • Swollen lymph glands, called buboes, are often found on the neck, armpit and
    groin of the victim.

#2: Pneumonic plague symptoms (lungs), include:
  • The first signs of illness are fever, headache, and weakness.
  • Coughing up blood is the telltale symptom of pneumonic plague.
  • Pneumonia sets in quickly with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and
    sometimes bloody or watery sputum.
  • It's the most contagious of the three types of plague.

#3: Septicemic plague symptoms (blood), include:
Symptoms of Septicemic Plague are rare, but include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding from the mouth or nose.
  • Bleeding from under the skin.
  • Diarrhea and
  • Fever and chills
  • Gangrene (blackening and tissue death of fingers, toes or nose)
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Shock
  • Vomiting

Step Four: Know the Cures for Plague.
Currently, there is no plague vaccine available for use in the United States; however
there is a cure: antibiotics. (See the list below of antibibiotics to cure the plague.)
Patients also require intravenous fluids, oxygen, and respiratory support.

Antibiotics to cure the plague include:
  1. Ciprofloxacin (veterinary equivalent is Fish-Flox)
  2. Chloramphenicol
  3. Doxycycline
  4. Gentamicin; Alchornea cordifolia is a shrub or small tree found in tropical Africa,
    which has herbal medicinal properties of gentamicin. Good luck if you don't live
    in near that shrub!
  5. Streptomycin
  6. Tetracycline (veterinary equivalent is Fish-Cycline)

Step Five: If possible stock antibiotics: ask your doctor!
While the plague is on the rise and fleas have developed a resistance to
insecticides, the good news is that with antibiotics this ancient disease is treatable!

You may be able to secure a supply of appropriate antibiotics for you and your family
by consulting with your physician about an emergency prescription, if he or she is
sympathetic to your concerns.

While antibiotics might not be available because of high demand, preppers can take
heed to stock up on fish antibiotics and learn how to use them.

Books, including
The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, by "Dr. Bones"
himself, Joseph Alton M.D. and his wife "Nurse Amy" Amy Alton, A.R.N.P. Section 8 of
their book has a chapter on "How to Use Antibiotics." As well, preppers should look
at the
Natural Antibiotics available to stay healthy and thrive during crisis.

Step Six: Get a pandemic mask.
A pandemic mask will come in handy for preventing the airborne version of the
plague, Septicemic plague symptoms (blood).

While rare, Preppers should be most concerned about the pneumonic plague, as
someone with advanced knowledge may be able to aerosolize the bacterium where
the particles of Yersinia pestis circulate through the air. In such a case, preppers
would employ use of antiviral masks at first warning of an outbreak.

Step Seven: Wear gloves if handling potentially infected animals.
The CDC recommends wearing Nitrile gloves if you will be handling or skinning
potentially infected animals. Wearing gloves will prevent contact between your skin
and the deadly plague bacteria.

Nitrile gloves, pictured immediate left, are manufactured using synthetic polymers
making them more puncture resistant than ordinary rubber gloves. Double gloving is
important for handling bodily fluids of an Ebola victim (sick and deceased individuals).

Further the CDC says to "Contact your local health department if you have questions
about disposal of dead animals."

Step Eight: Minimize exposure to rodents.
The Bubonic Plague was the deadliest of epidemics in human history, but few realize
that even cows, pigs and sheep succumbed to the disease, alongside the rodents
who spread it. Avoiding the other vector, rodents, who bring the fleas, is another
step highlighted by the CDC. They suggest making "your home and outbuildings

  • Install Pestplug Steel Wool. Pestplug Steel Wool, pictured immediate right, is
    a safe and environmentally friendly product that will help prevent unwanted
    pests and rodents from entering homes, buildings, RV's and many different
    structures. Because of the sharp fibers in our stainless steel wool, mice and
    rodents can not chew through it like many other products.

Step Nine: Minimize your Exposure to Fleas.
It's good to know that fleas don't reproduce well in low humidity; however that
won't save you. So how does a prepper guard against the plague? Sadly, the best
cure is prevention. Here's precisely how to minimize the risk of exposure to fleas:

  • Walk your dog and keep your cats in doors during an epidemic. According to
    the CDC, "Animals that roam freely are more likely to come in contact with
    plague infected animals or fleas and could bring them into homes."

  • Keep pets off your bed! "Don't allow dogs or cats that roam free in endemic
    areas to sleep on your bed," the CDC advises. Why not start now? Kennel
    training your dog is a good way to start prepping with your puppy.

  • Use repellent on yourself when camping, hiking. Use repllant when hiking or
    camping in places where you may be exposed to rodent fleas.. Look for
    products containing DEET. If you don't want to apply DEET to the skin, you can
    apply the product clothing. You can also apply products containing permethrin
    to clothing to prevent fleas from biting you.

  • Give your pet a repellent. Pet Naturals of Vermont Protect Flea Shampoo for
    Dogs and Cats, pictured immediate right, will help reduce the problem if there
    is an outbreak of the plague. This natural repellent protect your pets from
    fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and flies, thereby keeping you flea free and reducing
    your exposure to the plague.

  • Get a flea collar for your pet. A flea collar will do little to prevent the problem,
    but your life depends on every means possible so try a collar and these

  • Consider Flea traps. Avoid fleas, like the plague! The non-poisonous,
    odorless flea trap, pictured at the top of the page is safe to use around
    children and pets. Patented design uses color, heat, light, and sweet odor to
    lure fleas; attracts fleas from 30 feet away in every direction.

  • Have hope for holistic options. Mint and pennyroyal may repell fleas. Garlic
    isn't just for vampires.  Some preppers argue that garlic will repel fleas by
    working its way to their coat via oil glands. The oil repels the fleas, so why not
    put garlic powder on your pets food?

  • Go for the Marigold! Marigolds produce a sap that is a bug repellent. Plant
    them plentifully in your garden though most of your garden is food, this will
    look lovely and help your veggies grow.

  • Get some help from a mum. Chrysanthemums are the plant that produces
    the very toxic pyrethrin which replaces DEET in several types of bug repellent
    and is also a contact insecticide. This is another flower that does the trick to
    repel and will help your food grow.

  • Employ the Help of Beneficial Parasitic Nematodes. These little killers infect
    fleas and lay eggs inside their bodies, which hatch. In turn, the larva eat the
    insides of the flea as it develops and finally leaves the empty husk to find a
    new living host to perpetuate the cycle.

  • Get rid of your pet! It's a difficult decision to get rid of a dog or cat because
    pets are treated like family. If getting rid of the pet simply isn't an option then
    you'll need to take extreme measures to protect yourself and your pet during
    an outbreak.

Step Ten: Consider Stocking Thieves Oil.  
Preppers looking for natural remedies, look to essential oils to prevent or cure
ailments (though the law specifically prohibits natural remedies as a cure). Jump to
the disclaimer at the bottom of the page*.

For dietary, aromatic, or topical use, Thieves Oil, pictured at the bottom of the page,
has a rich history as an apothecary staple. During the 15th-century plague, thieves
used an oil of cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics to protect themselves while
robbing plague victims. In the
Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is
Not on the Way,
pictured immediate right,  by Joseph Alton M.D. and Amy Alton ARNP,
they recommend stocking Thieves Oil (Page 78) for upper respiratory infections.

    An ingredient of thieves oil is camphor.

  • Camphor Essential Oil: It's interesting to note that Essential Oil of Camphor, an
    extract from the roots and branches of the camphor tree, was used in ancient
    Persia to combat the bubonic plague. Using camphor as a cure for the bubonic
    plague may hold merit to the use of thieves oil, which contains a percentage
    of camphor. Whether or not camphor actually helps cure the bubonic plague is
    another story. Whatever the case, camphor is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory
    and an antiseptic.

Risk factors for plague include:
  • a flea bite;
  • exposure to rodents (prairie dog, rabbits, or squirrels);
  • scratches or bites from an infected domestic cat; and
  • weaponizing. Bio-terror, or weaponizing the plague, is possible, but unlikely
    according to John D. Clements of the Tulane University School of medicine in
    New Orleans
  • Rodents that die. If many rodents die in your area, there's a good indication of
    a plague outbreak, and it's time start preventative action, including isolating
    pets. While a cure for the plague exists, prevention is the best solution and
    the way to do that is to minimize your exposure to fleas.

Facts about the Plague:

The Dancing Mania!
During the Bubonic Plague of 1347-1351 there was a "dancing mania" that spread
among those who remained healthy. The survivors did a "happy" dance of sorts,
expressing sheer joy for having lived through those bleak times!

Perhaps the secret to their survival was
Thieves Essential Oil, pictured at the top
left of the page. Learn more  about how Thieves Oil helped some survive!

After the population dwindled, the survivors could charge a higher wage because
there simply were fewer people left to do the work; and fewer people also meant
less of a demand for goods and housing, so prices dropped. As well, plague
survivors likely lived to a longer life span, enjoying their old age, because they had a
hearty immune system. No wonder the plague survivors did a happy dance! The
survivors were grateful, though many of them lost their entire family.

Indeed, being
happy and grateful is one of the ten habits of happy preppers, but
there's more.

Final thoughts...
May through October is a particularly vulnerable period. If you have pets, you need
to take extra precaution.

While the
Plague in dogs is rare, if you own a dog it's imperative not to allow the
dog out of your home during an extreme crisis or you may risk getting fleas in your
home. The grave danger of the plague is that usually dogs have no symptoms of the
disease. Also, while the plague is rare in dogs, the fleas your dog brings home is
what puts you at risk of the plague. If the fleas are bring the bacterial disease it
could infect you and not the dog.

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* These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any
health or dietary matter, always consult your physician. This information is intended for your
general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for
specific medical conditions. Never disregard or delay in seeking medical advice when available.

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Plague and the problem of fleas
------------------------------------------------- Revised 11/02/15
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