Volume 88, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We investigated a cluster of five cases of severe pneumonia from one village in Yunnan Province, China. We searched for severe pneumonia in the village and hospitals. We interviewed patients and family members about exposures. We tested acute and convalescent sera for antigen and antibody of severe acute respiratory syndrome, avian influenza, and plague. The only common exposure of the five patients was riding together in the enclosed cab of a truck for 1.5 hours while taking the first patient to the hospital. Seroconversion to plague F1 antigen confirmed plague in three survivors. Unfamiliarity of clinicians with plague and lack of sputum examination, blood culture, or postmortem examination delayed the diagnosis. No plague cases occurred among family and village contacts and health care workers. High infectivity in this cluster was limited to a crowded, poorly ventilated truck.


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  • Received : 13 Mar 2012
  • Accepted : 28 Dec 2012
  • Published online : 01 May 2013

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