Paul Gaylord of Prineville, Oregon will have his toes and fingers amputated after he contracted the black plague early last month while trying to pry a mouse from the mouth of his pet cat.
"They tell me I'm doing really good considering," Gaylord told the Oregonian last week in a telephone interview from his hospital bed. "I do feel lucky. I'm going to have a long row to hoe, but at least I have one."
Gaylord was initially diagnosed with cat-scratch fever after the incident, in which he tried to save his pet cat from choking on a bulge in its throat, which turned out to be a mouse with plague-infested fleas.
After being admitted to the intensive care unit when his flu-like symptoms began to intensify, he was diagnosed with the black plague after the cat tested positive as well.
The infectious disease is carried by fleas and can infect animals and humans. It is famous for killing around one-third of the popular of Europe in the Middle Ages. Around 10 Americans are afflicted with the disease yearly.
by RTT Staff Writer
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