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24 May, 2024
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Pet owner contracts bubonic plague from cat

Pet-transmitted bubonic plague case reported in Oregon, USA


In a rare occurrence, a pet owner in Oregon has contracted the bubonic plague from their cat, marking a concerning instance of the potentially fatal disease emerging in the United States, according to local authorities.

As reported by The Guardian, the bubonic plague, infamous for its role in the Black Death during medieval times, has resurfaced in modern-day Oregon, a region where such cases are uncommon. The disease, which claimed millions of lives and wreaked havoc across continents centuries ago, has since become significantly less prevalent.

Local health officials disclosed that the individual, whose identity remains undisclosed, resides in rural Deschutes County, Oregon. It is believed that the person likely contracted the plague from their pet, which exhibited symptoms indicative of the illness.

Dr. Richard Fawcett, Deschutes County health officer, emphasized, "All close contacts of the resident and their pet have been contacted and provided medication to prevent illness," underscoring the swift response to contain potential spread.

This incident marks the first reported case of bubonic plague in Oregon since 2015. Typically, the plague is endemic to the area, often carried by squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and other rodents.

Symptoms of the plague typically manifest within two to eight days following exposure to an infected animal or flea. These symptoms may include fever, nausea, weakness, chills, muscle aches, and visibly swollen lymph nodes, known as buboes, from which the plague derives its name.

"Fortunately, this case was identified and treated in the earlier stages of the disease, posing little risk to the community. No additional cases of plague have emerged during the communicable disease investigation," reassured the county in a statement, offering a note of relief amid the concerning development.

The incident underscores the importance of prompt medical attention and vigilance in regions where such historical diseases persist, serving as a reminder of the ongoing risks posed by zoonotic infections.

[With information sourced from The Guardian]

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