No Widgets found in the Sidebar
Health officials say Oregon resident likely contracted bubonic plague from a cat

In Oregon, health officials have confirmed the first case of bubonic plague since 2015. The individual was likely infected by their symptomatic pet cat, according to Deschutes County officials. The case was caught early and poses little risk to the community, with no additional cases reported. All close contacts of the resident and their pet have been contacted and provided medication to prevent illness, said county health officer Dr. Richard Fawcett on Wednesday.

Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease that is transmitted through the bite of an infected flea or contact with an infected animal. It is most commonly carried by small mammals such as squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and rats in Central Oregon. Symptoms typically appear two to eight days after exposure to an infected animal or flea and include fever, headache, chills, weakness, and one or more swollen, painful lymph nodes called buboes. If not diagnosed early, bubonic plague can develop into septicemic plague, a bloodstream infection or pneumonic plague, a lung infection – both forms are more severe and difficult to treat.

To prevent the spread of the disease, officials urged people to avoid contact with rodents – sick, injured or dead – while outdoors. They also suggested keeping pets on leashes while outside and using flea control products on them to reduce the possibility that they get fleas. Pet cats are particularly susceptible to plague and should be discouraged from hunting rodents if possible.

Plague was first introduced to the U.S by rat-infested steamships that sailed into the country in 1900. Most cases are reported in parts of New Mexico

By Editor

Leave a Reply