The case, involving an unidentified individual, was made public on February 7. To date, there have been no other recorded cases in the area.
In a statement, Deschutes County Health Officer Dr. Richard Fawcett said, “All close contacts of the resident and their pet have been contacted and provided medication to prevent illness.”
Fawcett also stated that human-to-human contact of the disease is rare. Because bubonic plague is spread through the air and contaminated food, officials believe the resident was infected by their cat that had already developed symptoms.
Fawcett also emphasized that the case was caught early, and the infected individual was treated by doctors in the early stages of the disease, “posing little risk to the community.”
Symptoms of plague in humans can include sudden fevers, nausea, weakness, chills, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes. The symptoms usually occur within two to eight days after being infected and can be readily treated with antibiotics.
However, if not caught early, individuals can contract potentially life-threatening bloodstream and/or lung infections.
The last confirmed case of the plague in Oregon was reported in 2015, health officials said.
Around 25 million people in Europe died from bubonic plague – known as the Black Death – between 1347-1352, as the plague spread quickly. Today, however, it’s extremely rare in the United States.
The plague was first identified in the U.S. from rats on ships coming in the country in 1920, and the last epidemic in the country was in 1925. Today, most cases are found in the Midwest and northwest, with about seven cases reported on average each year.
Deschutes County health officials listed the following precautions to help stop the prevention of bubonic plague:
- Avoid all contact with rodents and their fleas.
- Never touch sick, injured, or dead rodents.
- Keep pets on a leash when outdoors and protect them with flea control products.
- Do not allow pets to approach sick or dead rodents or explore rodent burrows.
- Pet cats are highly susceptible to plague, and infected cats can transmit the bacterium to humans. If possible, discourage their hunting of rodents.
- Consult a veterinarian immediately if your cat becomes sick after being in contact with rodents.
- Residents should keep wild rodents out of homes and remove food, woodpiles, and other attractants for rodents around homes and outbuildings.
- Do not camp, sleep, or rest near animal burrows or areas where dead rodents are observed.
- Refrain from feeding squirrels, chipmunks, or other wild rodents in campgrounds and picnic areas. Store food and refuse in rodent-proof containers.
- Wear long pants tucked into boot tops to reduce exposure to fleas. Apply insect repellent to socks and trouser cuffs to help reduce exposure to fleas.
The post Human Bubonic Plague Case Documented in Oregon Caused by Family Cat, Health Officials Say appeared first on Knewz.
Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: Kelly Hartog
This content is courtesy of, and owned and copyrighted by, https://knewz.com and its author. This content is made available by use of the public RSS feed offered by the host site and is used for educational purposes only. If you are the author or represent the host site and would like this content removed now and in the future, please contact USSANews.com using the email address in the Contact page found in the website menu.