Bubonic Plague Suspected in Oregon Resident Possibly Transmitted by Pet Cat

Title: Oregon Resident Infected with Plague Traced to Pet Cat

In a shocking development, Oregon has reported its first case of the plague in eight years. Health authorities suspect that a resident was infected by their pet cat, marking a significant concern for public health. This incident highlights the importance of taking precautions and raising awareness about the plague, a deadly disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.

The infected person’s cat showed signs of a draining abscess, a clear indication of a substantial infection. Upon discovering the illness, authorities swiftly provided medication to close contacts of the resident and their pet in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

Fortunately, the patient responded well to antibiotic treatment. However, this case serves as a reminder of the potential dangers associated with the plague, particularly in Oregon where cases are usually linked to animals such as squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and rodents. The state’s last recorded instance of the plague was reported in 2015.

Similar non-human cases related to cats and the plague have been documented in Wyoming and Colorado, emphasizing the need for vigilance in these regions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States witnessed nine cases of the plague in 2020, resulting in two fatalities.

The plague primarily spreads through flea bites or contact with infected animals, making it crucial for individuals to avoid any interactions with rodents and their fleas. Oregon health authorities are urging residents to keep pets on leashes and protected from fleas and to discourage cats from hunting rodents.

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Additionally, residents are advised to take precautions by wearing long pants and using insect repellent to minimize exposure to fleas. Symptoms of the plague include fever, nausea, weakness, chills, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Prompt identification of the illness is vital for timely medical intervention.

It is worth noting that while plague epidemics have been recorded in Africa, Asia, and South America, the more recent cases have primarily occurred in Africa. Nevertheless, this recent incident in Oregon serves as a reminder that the disease can still emerge in unexpected locations.

As the infected resident recuperates and authorities continue monitoring the situation, it is crucial for the public to remain aware of the potential risks associated with the plague. Ensuring that preventive measures and guidelines are followed can help prevent further spread of the disease.


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