“As you know, normally during flu season, it’s the elderly, children and those with suppressed immune systems who are the first to contract influenza. This disease doesn’t discriminate by age. It’s infecting males of all ages. I want to show you something.” Dr Livinsky set his clipboard down, carefully put his hand on the patient’s shoulder and one on a leg and attempted to roll him over. At the slightest pressure, the patient’s skin ripped apart and dark fluid poured from his body.
Dr. Livinsky jumped back. “My God! That’s not what I wanted to show you,” He put two fingers on the patient’s carotid artery feeling for a pulse. “He’s gone, let’s get out of here,” he rang for the nurse, picked up his clipboard and they walked into the hall.
Lydia knew that the way a plague infects people is by being bitten by an infected flea, touching the fluid draining from a plague-infected person, breathing in small drops that come from coughs, sneezes or spit of infected people or animals, or touching a body that died from plague. Dr. Livinsky just did three of those things. She watched as he stopped at the sink and washed his hands before they left the room.
Looking at the chart, he said, “The symptoms after a week are as you saw, skin that ruptures at the slightest touch. It begins with a sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function,”
An overhead speaker called Dr. Livinsky for a code blue. As he rushed off, she chased after him and asked, “Why only males?”
“I was hoping the CDC could tell me why,” he said as he hurried down the hall.
She prayed the patient that had just died didn’t do so from some type of plague. She should have insisted Dr. Livinsky decontaminate before going anywhere, but she wasn’t sure about anything at this point.
Lydia went to the doctor’s locker room to shower and put on sterilized scrubs. She put her soiled clothes in the contaminated bin.