Emergency Nursing & Triage Q 11 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Thursday 24 March 2022

Emergency Nursing & Triage Q 11

Cole is an emergency nurse who encountered a patient who is a suspected carrier of a biologic agent. Which of these if found in the patient is not classified as a Category A biologic agent?
    A. Bacillus anthracis (anthrax)
    B. Francisella tularensis (tularemia)
    C. Clostridium botulinum toxin (botulism)
    D. Burkholderia pseudomallei (Melioidosis)
    E. Yersinia petis (plague)

Correct Answer: D. Burkholderia pseudomallei (Melioidosis)

Burkholderia pseudomallei (Melioidosis) belongs to the category B priority pathogen. These agents are moderately easy to be transmitted and can result in moderate morbidity rates. Melioidosis is endemic to southeast Asia and northern Australia but has also occurred in South America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East. Melioidosis may present in an acute form with an incubation period of one day to three weeks. However, latent melioidosis may not present for decades. Melioidosis often infects those with underlying risk factors such as diabetes, kidney disease, alcohol abuse, and thalassemia, although healthy patients may also contract the disease.

Option A: Although B. anthracis is generally an environmentally stable and ubiquitous organism in nature, it has also been recognized as a potential pathogen that could be used as a biological weapon. Anthrax is categorized as a category A priority pathogen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because it is potentially capable of being disseminated as a bioweapon.
Option B: Francisella tularensis organism is considered a category A biowarfare agent because of its high rate of infectivity, stability in a liquid environment, relative ease of growth, easy spread, and ability to cause significant illness and morbidity. Because of its ability to remain viable in the environment, this can also lead to repeat outbreaks and relapses that can last many months. The infection must be reported to the local authorities ASAP.
Option C: The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring cases of botulism in the United States since 1973. From years 2011 through 2015, an average of 162 annual cases were reported. These primarily included infant botulism at 71% to 88%, followed by foodborne botulism, wound botulism, and botulism of unknown origin.
Option E: This biological agent belongs to Category A. This agent poses the highest risk to national security because they can easily transfer from one person to the other, which can lead to high mortality rates, and necessitate special measures for immediate preparation. Any patient suspected of plague should undergo until cleared. For pneumonic plague, the Centers for Disease Control recommend standard and droplet precautions for 48 hours after the initiation of appropriate antibiotic therapy.

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