Friday, April 03, 2020

KANSAS GOVERNOR LAURA KELLY'S EXECUTVE ORDER 20-16  Statewide "stay home" order unless performing an essential activity (read the order for details)

MARION COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT PRESS RELEASE:  1st Confirmed Positive Case in Marion County

Information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Marion County Health Department.


PUBLIC ATTENDANCE OF COUNTY COMMISSION MEETINGS BY TELECOMMUNICATION ONLY.  Pursuant to KS Governor Order 20-16, in-person attendance at the County Commission meetings will not be allowed at this time.  We encourage attendance by telecommunication which also allows public interaction.
To join the County Commission meetings from your computer, tablet or smartphone, go to or by phone dial 1-866-899-4679.  The access code is 639-484-901#.

Please contact individual County offices directly for any questions or assistance.


What is ricin?

Ricin is a protein toxin that is readily produced from castor beans (Ricinus communis), which are ubiquitous throughout the world.  It acts as a cellular poison by inhibiting protein synthesis.  Naturally-occurring cases of ricin involve ingestion of castor beans, and are marked by severe gastrointestinal symptoms, vascular collapse, and death.

How is ricin associated with Bioterrorism?

Ricin has been used as a biological weapon for assassinations in the past.  It is toxic by numerous exposure routes, however, its use by bioterrorists might involve poisoning of water or foodstuffs, inoculation via ricin-laced projectiles, or aerosolization of liquid ricin or lyophilized powder.  Waste from the commercial production of castor oil contains 5% ricin, making it easy for such a substance to fall into the hands of bioterrorists.

What are the signs of ricin intoxication?

When inhaled as a small particle aerosol, ricin would likely produce symptoms within 8 hours.  Fever, cough, difficulty breathing, nausea, and chest tightness are followed by profuse sweating, skin turning blue, low blood pressure, and finally respiratory failure and circulatory collapse.  Time to death would likely be 36-72 hours, depending on the dose received.

How is ricin intoxication diagnosed?

The diagnosis of ricin is largely based on symptoms and should be suspected in a setting of mass casualties with a similar and appropriate clinical picture.  Failure to respond to antibiotics helps to differentiate ricin exposure from lung infections produced by bacterial agents. A blood antibody test exists but is not readily available.

Can ricin intoxication be treated?

No specific treatment exists, and care is thus supportive treatment of symptoms.

Is a vaccine available?

No specific vaccine or antitoxin exists.  A protective mask would offer protection from aerosol exposure