Oregon Reports First Human Case of Bubonic Plague in Almost a Decade, Potentially Linked to Cat

Marina Yu Phillips 기자 승인 2024.02.13 18:19 의견 0

Stock image of a cat.


Deschutes County Health Services confirmed on Feb. 7 that Oregon has recorded its first human case of bubonic plague in nearly 10 years. The transmission is suspected to have occurred through contact with the patient's pet cat.

According to Dr. Richard Fawcett, a health officer for Deschutes County, the cat exhibited severe symptoms, including a draining abscess, indicating a significant infection. Those who had close contact with the patient or the cat have been contacted and provided with medication as a preventive measure, as stated by the health services' release.

Symptoms of the plague typically manifest within two to eight days of exposure and may include swollen lymph nodes, fever, nausea, weakness, chills, and muscle aches. Prompt diagnosis and treatment were initiated for the Oregon patient, reducing the likelihood of further cases in the area, according to the county's health services.

Dr. Fawcett noted that the patient responded well to antibiotic treatment, underscoring the effectiveness of modern medicine in managing the disease. While cases of the plague are rare in contemporary times, the availability of antibiotics has significantly reduced its lethality compared to historical outbreaks.

David Wagner, director of the Biodefense and Disease Ecology Center at Northern Arizona University's Pathogen and Microbiome Institute, emphasized the impact of antibiotics in treating the plague, highlighting its evolution from a devastating disease during the Black Death era to a manageable condition in the present day.

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