Political Notes – Has the plague hit Georgia? DPH investigates

[private]The plague, that scourge of a disease that swept through Europe and wiped out millions of people in the 14th century, may have hit Georgia, according to the state Department of Public Health.

DPH officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating a possible case of plague in a person who is believed to have been infected while hiking in California.

The patient has been hospitalized and treated with antibiotics, and is expected to make a full recovery, DPH said in a statement.

DPH added: “Plague is not endemic in Georgia but it does occur throughout the Western United States. Currently, there is an investigation into plague infected animals in Yosemite National Park, Sierra National Forest, and surrounding areas and preventive measures are being taken to reduce the risk of plague transmission.”

Symptoms to look for include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin.

“People who develop these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention and notify their health care provider that they have been camping or out in the wilderness and have been exposed to rodents and fleas,” said Dr. Patrick O’Neal, the DPH director of health protection.

Known to historians as the “Bubonic Plague” or the “Black Death,” the plague is credited with killing anywhere from 75 million to 200 million people as it moved through Europe and Asia during the 14th Century.

The infectious bacterial disease is carried by squirrels, chipmunks and other rodents and their fleas. When an infected rodent dies, its fleas can carry the infection to other warm-blooded animals, including humans.

Let’s try it one more time with the Ralston case

A third special master has been appointed to oversee the State Bar of Georgia’s complaint against House Speaker David Ralston, following the departures of the first two special masters over the past month.

Atlanta trial lawyer Jon Peters, who was formerly an assistant district attorney and Superior Court judge in DeKalb County, has been appointed to review the allegations that Ralston, an attorney based in Blue Ridge, violated State Bar rules when he represented a client in a damage lawsuit.

The first two special masters, attorney Mark Dehler and retired DeKalb judge Robert Castellani, stepped down from the case during the ongoing legal wrangling between the State Bar and Ralston’s attorney, former governor Roy Barnes.

Ralston faces potential actions that could range from a dismissal to disbarment.

Wang is new DJJ counsel

Attorney Cindy Wang has been named general counsel for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, where she will handle legal issues involving the department, which include individual litigation and compliance with state and federal laws.

Wang formerly worked 13 years for the Georgia Public Defender Council. She has a law degree from the University of Georgia and was an adjunct professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: black plague , Cindy Wang , David Ralston , department of public health , Jon Peters , Juvenile Justice , Patrick O'Neal , State Bar