Oregon well being officers have confirmed this week {that a} teenage woman in Criminal County, Oregon, has contracted the bubonic plague. The woman most probably caught the illness from a flea chunk throughout a searching journey in northern Oregon and is at the moment recovering in an intensive care unit at an area hospital.

The bubonic plague—sure, the identical illness because the "Black Demise" that crippled Europe within the Center Ages—is an an infection brought on by the Yersinia pestis micro organism carried by rodents like rats, squirrels, and chipmunks, based on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC). People get it from being bitten by fleas, which contract it from feeding on contaminated rodents.

“Many individuals consider the plague as a illness of the previous, however it’s nonetheless very a lot current in our surroundings, significantly amongst wildlife,” Emilio DeBess, a veterinarian in Oregon's Public Well being Division, defined in a press launch. “Luckily, plague stays a uncommon illness, however individuals have to take applicable precautions with wildlife and their pets to maintain it that means.”

RELATED: Did One Gene Mutation Launch the Black Demise?

To maintain your self and your family members protected, the CDC recommends avoiding sick or lifeless rodents, rabbits and squirrels, treating your pets for fleas, and cleansing up any areas close to your home the place rodents might reside (assume brush piles or deserted automobiles).

As soon as bitten by a flea carrying the micro organism, signs often develop two to 6 days after being bitten, and embrace sudden fever, headache, chills, and painful, swollen lymph nodes (often known as buboes). With out quick antibiotic remedy, the an infection can unfold to the bloodstream (septicemic plague) or to the lungs (pneumonic plague), each of which may be deadly.

Bubonic plague also can result in gangrene in fingers and toes. In 2012, one other Oregon affected person misplaced fingers and toes after contracting the plague from dealing with a mouse his pet cat had caught, based on the Related Press.

All of this sounds scary for certain, however the excellent news is that along with being uncommon in the US, most of those that do contract the virus will get better with immediate antibiotic remedy.

Whereas the an infection is severe, the general mortality price for the plague as we speak is 11%, versus 66% earlier than antibiotics have been invented.

RELATED: New York Metropolis Rats Carry Fleas Identified to Transmit Plague

 

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