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article imageOregon teen goes hunting, contracts bubonic plague

By Brandi Fleeks     Oct 30, 2015 in Health
Bend - Five days following a hunting trip, a Crook County teen developed symptoms of a strange illness. Three days later she went the hospital where doctors diagnosed her with the bubonic plague.
The 16-year-old is now recovering in the intensive care unit in an Oregon hospital. Officials have not reported her condition, reports Wisc News.
The bubonic plague, also known as the "black death," ravaged the European continent during the 14th Century, claiming an estimated 75 million lives. Today it’s a rare occurrence, but the disease still lingers in carrier animals and can infect who comes in contact with them.
Symptoms of the bubonic plague include fever, headache, chills, and weakness. Black boils which ooze blood and puss called bubose — which gave the disease its nickname — develop if the disease goes untreated.
Although it was once believed to be passed from person to person through coughs and sneezes, medical professionals learned that a bacterium called Yersina pestis — which is carried by rodents such as mice and rats, squirrels and other wild rodents — causes bubonic plague. The rodents become sick and die, but their fleas continue to carry the disease, infecting the next mammal they bite. Today, antibiotics can successfully treat the disease.
Since 1995, there have been eight human cases of the plague in Oregon, and on average there are seven cases reported each year according to the CDC. Over the last five years, there has been one death from the disease.
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