Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Black Death: Oregon Man Diagnosed with Bubonic Plague

An Oregon man is in critical condition after being diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague. He is the fifth person to be diagnosed with the deadly disease in the state since 1995.

The man, a resident of rural Cook County, contracted the disease after being bitten while trying to rescue a mouse from the clutches of a stray cat on his property. At this point, it is not clear if the man was bitten by the mouse or the cat, but both animals are known carriers of the dreaded disease. The Plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, is transmitted from the bites of fleas. The bacteria then enters the blood stream, where it infects the lymph nodes of the human body, as the bacteria quickly multiplies throughout the body. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bleeding mouth, nose or rectum and dying skin tissue.

 The cat has died and its body has been sent to the Center for Disease Control for testing. Although very rare now, the Black Death as the Plague is also known was one of the worst pandemic diseases in human history during the Middle Ages, decimating Europe and Asia and reducing the population by up to 60% in some areas of the continents. The disease is now highly treatable through medications, if symptoms of the illness are diagnosed and treatment begins promptly.

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