Extremely rare case of bubonic plague, man infected by his cat in Oregon


By John

Very rare case of bubonic plague in Oregon: not only has the disease not appeared in the state for over 8 years, but the affected man was infected by his cat. Usually the disease – today treatable with antibiotics – is transmitted by fleas carried by wild animals.

The head of health services in Deschutes County in Oregon, Richard Fawcett, said that the infection in the patient most likely started in the lymph nodes – a typical sign of bubonic plague – and spread to the blood system: ¬ęBut the sick – he said – he responded very well to antibiotic therapy and after hospitalization he is now on the way to recovery. The cat that transmitted the plague was very sick and probably contracted the disease from a dead rodent.”

The doctors also subjected the family members and neighbors of the infected person to antibiotic therapy. It is extremely rare for the plague to strike and instead be transmitted by domestic dogs – although in 2014 four Colorado residents were infected by a pit bull – but as a precaution, Deschutes County urged citizens to leash their dogs , to prevent them from coming into contact with rodents, and to take them to a vet immediately if they show any symptoms of illness or infection. On average, in the United States, about seven cases of plague occur in humans per year, typically in the West, in rural areas with lots of wildlife. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rare infections in recent years have appeared mostly in specific areas of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, California, Oregon and Nevada.