Emily presents a MLVA analysis showing separation between the Lovelace strains and those of the patients. “Great work, but we still have the common link of Albuquerque. Can we safely assume they picked it up here at the Comicon?”
Additional information emerges. Of the patients examined, one of them, Dr. Donald Gerecke is a Rutgers professor who claims he did not participate in the Comicon. He states that he had business at Lovelace. His itinerary is also slightly later than most attendees who were there for the weekend. He instead flew in on Sunday and departed Monday. “This seems to be a difficult situation. If the infection location was indeed Comicon, how could Dr. Gerecke have gotten the infection? Also is this guy a suspect?”
Allison adds some extra information about the strain. Very helpful!
Allison asks about the Comicon air filters. You can set about doing an investigation. Take a look at the website for the comicon for more clues. Where else to look?
Rachel asks about international people attending the conference. There were some foreigners, but no Middle Easterners in attendance according to the registration.
Emily adds more information about the mutation. Indeed it is curious that the patients have not gotten any sicker and seem to be recovering.
MLVA analysis on the CA strains show the same outcome – the patients had all attended comicon.Allison asks about surveillance video. One of the issues of the Comicons is that people come in costume.
“I took the liberty of visiting the Convention Center before the Feds shut it down,” says your technician. A comprehensive search of the convention center reveals something. In the search of the convention center, you discover that there is a lost and found area where items left behind are kept. In it is what appears to be an aerosolization device. A MLVA analysis determines that it contains plague of similar strain to one of the patients.
“You’ve successfully covered the details for the cases themselves in terms of patient care, so you can consider that issue closed for now. Leave that to the professionals. For now, though, I’d like you to focus more on the crime that took place. How would you go about investigating the incident? Where would you look? What would forensic investigators be looking for?”
“Also, I’d like you to take a look into Dr. Gerecke’s background. See if it makes sense that he would be related to this aerosol release.”
The Director asks you to work together to put together a CDC-style press release that is going to inform the public without panicking. “You can find examples of this kind of thing at their website. Do one that we can release in Albuquerque,” asks your Director. He asked you to provide him with a two-pager document with notes/facts, a potential timeline of activity, the knowns and unknowns of the case, etc. It isn’t a formal document – rather it is something for him to use based on your best educated guesses for what occurred. For example, how sure are you that it was intentional and why? For each conclusion, also include a degree of how sure you are and why. Again, it’s not a formal document.
Some interesting news, residual Y. pestis DNA was detected in the trunk of the rental car that was used by Dr. Gerecke. He continues to claim his lack of involvement in the case. The car had been previously rented by someone the Friday prior and returned approximately 2 hours prior to Gerecke landing in Albuquerque. Efforts to identify this individual have not been successful, as their identification turned out to be false.
PRESS RELEASE FORMAT, COMBINED ALL THE INFORMATION TOGETHER AND DELIVERY A PRESS BASED ON THE INFORMATION HAD SO FAR.
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