The disease that aniihilated almost a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century has struck in Oregon. An unidentified man is in critical condition at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Ore. due to bubonic plague he contracted after a stray cat bit him. This is only the fifth case of the plague in Oregon since 1995.
The man, who is in his 50s, was bit on the hand while trying to separate a stray cat and a mouse. He didn’t suffer the disease’s effects until days later, when the disease starting spreading through his bloodstream. The man is presenting all symptoms associated with the plague, including stomach pain; bleeding mouth, nose and anu; and dying tissue.
Officials determined that the mouse was dead and in the cat’s mouth when the man came into contact with the cat. The cat has since died and is currently being tested for any traces of the disease.
Victims of the black plague are usually left with dead, rotted tissue around their nose and lips, as well as their fingers and toes.
Rat-borne fleas usually carry the bacterium that causes the plague, which killed up to 75 million people — a third of the European population — in the 1300s.
Humans can catch the disease if they come in contact with infected rodents or other animals. While the disease can be treated with antibiotics, one in seven cases of the plague are fatal.
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