A new case of Bubonic Plague has been confirmed in a Crook County girl in Oregon. Dating back to the 20th century, Bubonic plague is considered as one of the most devastating diseases in the world. It has killed thousands of people across the world.
The girl has reportedly acquired the disease from a flea bite during a hunting trip near Heppner in Morrow County. The girl fell ill after five days of contracting the disease. She is currently recovering at a hospital.
State and federal epidemiologists are currently investigating the illness. No other people are believed to have been infected, said the officials.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 human plague cases have been reported nationwide each year in the U.S. Since 1995, eight human cases have been diagnosed in Oregon and no deaths have been reported.
"Many people think of the plague as a disease of the past, but it's still very much present in our environment, particularly among wildlife. Fortunately, plague remains a rare disease, but people need to take appropriate precautions with wildlife and their pets to keep it that way," said Emilio DeBess, DVM, state public health veterinarian in the Public Health Division's Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section.
The plague is treatable with antibiotics if caught early, but can be fatal if left untreated. Bubonic plague is the most common form and is characterized by high fever, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes. Officials recommend people avoid any contact with wild rodents, especially sick or dead ones, and should never feed squirrels or chipmunks. People should also keep their pets away from wild rodents to avoid infection.