Health officials in Oregon confirmed Thursday June 14 a state resident has been hospitalized and is in critical condition with a case of the black plague.
The Oregonian reported a man, whose named was not released, was bitten on the hand by a stray cat while attempting to get a mouse from its mouth and contracted the bubonic plague (or black death).
Symptoms of the plague, which is transmitted by fleas infected with the Yersinia pestis bacteria, include fever, chills, headache and exhaustion. Symptoms typically appear a week or so after infection. The plague, which is now treatable with antibiotics but can still be fatal, is infamous for killing one-forth to one-third of Europe in the Middle Ages.
"This can be a serious illness," said Emilio DeBess, Oregon's public health veterinarian told The Oregonian. "But it is treatable with antibiotics, and it's also preventable."
The cat, now deceased, has been sent to the CDC for further examination. Health officials have been collecting blood samples from other neighborhood pets and animals as well.
by RTT Staff Writer
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