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Patients Exposed to Deadly Ricin at WA State Hospital

By Dr Patricia Doyle PhD
Exclusive To

Hello Jeff ... I bet  the farm and all the animals on the farm that the 18 year old Olympia, WA man is a refugee or illegal.
There is much more to this story, I fear.  Why was this man making Ricin in his home in the first place?  Was he going to make a large amount and spread it across the Pacific Northwest?  We are overdue for a terrorist attack...

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
By Shelby Miller Date: 4 Jan 2018
Source: KIRO 7 

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office said a patient admitted to taking the poison ricin inside Providence St. Peter Hospital [Olympia, WA] Wednesday [2 Jan 2019] evening, potentially putting dozens of people at risk. "This is a public safety concern. When you go to the [emergency room] you might expect to catch the flu, you don't expect to be exposed to ricin," said a man who was inside the hospital at the time of the incident. The man asked to keep his name private because he's worried about his family member, who's still hospitalized."[Hospital workers] said there was potentially an exposure in the [emergency room] to ricin," he said. "They told us to watch out for difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, fever."

The sheriff's office said the incident began around 8 PM Wednesday [2 Jan 2019]. An 18-year-old Olympia man called medics because he wasn't feeling well. When medics responded to his home, they had no idea the man was making ricin. Neighbors on the block were also in the dark. "It's a scary situation. You don't know if he's going to leave it in the mailbox or anything, or if any of us could be exposed to that," said Dave Conn.

Ricin is a highly toxic compound found in castor beans.

"It's scary, it's really scary, there's a lot of younger kids in the area," said Stephanie Conn.

Deputies said the man admitted to hospital workers he started feeling sick while making ricin at his house and that he brought some with him to the emergency room.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now handling the investigation. Officials sent KIRO 7 a statement regarding the incident: "The FBI responded shortly before 11 PM to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA, to learn more about the contact of an individual with a possibly suspicious material. The FBI transported the material to the Washington Department of Health's public health lab for testing."

Hospital workers said there is not an immediate concern for people who were inside the hospital at the time. They plan to follow up with people who were in the emergency room. local/ricin-scare-at-olympia- hospital/898723538

Communicated by. ProMED-mail

The article does not tell us if the ricin was brought to the hospital in a powered form (presumably) or how fine the powder was. Likely most hospitalized people don't have a worry. If the container were opened and even small amounts aerosolized, those nearby, including the patient/perpetrator, would be at most risk of exposure.

Why was this individual making, presumably powdered, ricin? One has to wonder what nefarious plans or activity this individual had in mind to be making this product. Why did he bring this to the hospital? Was he trying to test the effectiveness of his product? It seems he may have at least one test subject: himself.

It is hoped the authorities will figure out the answers to these and other questions associated with this individual, his activities, and his intentions.

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. If castor beans are chewed and swallowed, the released ricin can cause injury. Ricin can be made from the waste material left over from processing castor beans. It is a potent protein derived from the beans of the castor plant (_Ricinus communis_). Castor beans are used in the production of castor oil, a brake and hydraulic fluid constituent. The aqueous phase of the process, termed the "waste mash," is 5% to 10% ricin.

Castor oil does not contain ricin. Ricin has been used experimentally in medicine to kill cancer cells. Ricin works by getting inside the cells of a person's body and preventing the cells from making the proteins they need; hence, it is often called a toxalbumin. Without the proteins, cells die. Eventually this is harmful to the whole body, and death may occur.

Ricin can be in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid. It is a stable substance under normal conditions, but can be inactivated by heat above 80 deg C (176 deg F).

Effects of ricin poisoning depend on whether ricin was inhaled, ingested, or injected. The major symptoms of ricin poisoning depend on the route of exposure and the dose received, although many organs may be affected in severe cases. Initial symptoms of ricin poisoning by inhalation may occur within 8 hours of exposure. Following ingestion of ricin, initial symptoms typically occur in less than 6 hours.

Inhalation: Within a few hours of inhaling significant amounts of ricin, the likely symptoms would be respiratory distress (difficulty breathing), fever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest. Heavy sweating may follow as well as fluid building up in the lungs (pulmonary edema). This would make breathing even more difficult, and the skin might turn blue. Excess fluid in the lungs would be diagnosed by x-ray or by listening to the chest with a stethoscope. Finally, low blood pressure and respiratory failure may occur, leading to death. In cases of known exposure to ricin, people having respiratory symptoms that start within 12 hours of inhaling ricin should seek medical care.

Ingestion: If someone swallows a significant amount of ricin, he or she would develop vomiting and diarrhea that may become bloody. Severe dehydration may be the result, followed by low blood pressure. Other signs or symptoms may include hallucinations, seizures, and blood in the urine. Within several days, the person's liver, spleen, and kidneys might stop working, and the person could die.

Skin and eye exposure: Ricin is unlikely to be absorbed through normal skin. Contact with ricin powders or products may cause redness and pain of the skin and the eyes.

Death from ricin poisoning [may] take place within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, depending on the route of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or injection) and the dose received. If in suspected situations where ricin may have been disseminated, preliminary environmental testing by public health or law enforcement authorities may detect ricin in powders or materials released into the immediate environment. Persons occupying such areas may initially be observed for signs of ricin poisoning.

No widely available, reliable medical test exists to confirm a person has been exposed to ricin.

Because no antidote exists for ricin, the most important factor is to avoid ricin exposure in the 1st place. If exposure cannot be avoided, the most important factor is then getting the ricin off or out of the body as quickly as possible.

Symptomatic ricin poisoning is treated by giving victims supportive medical care to minimize the effects of the poisoning. The types of supportive medical care would depend on several factors, such as the route by which victims were poisoned (that is, whether poisoning was by inhalation, ingestion, or skin or eye exposure). Care could include such measures as helping victims breathe, giving them intravenous fluids (fluids given through a needle inserted into a vein), giving them medications to treat conditions such as seizures and low blood pressure, flushing their stomachs with activated charcoal (if the ricin has been very recently ingested), or washing out their eyes with water if their eyes are irritated.

Portions of this comment were extracted from agent/ricin/facts.asp . - Mod.TG

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