Cats found spreading Bubonic plague in Oregon

The United States of America has seen its first case of Bubonic plague case in Deschutes County, Oregon.

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Dr Richard Fawcett of Deschutes County Health Services said on Wednesday that someone in our area got the plague, probably from their sick cat.

The person who got sick got treatment in the early stages of the plague, so it didn't put others in the area at risk, according to the health services.

Symptoms of bubonic plague are swollen lymph nodes with other symptoms like chills, fatigue, fever, headache, and muscle aches.

This bubonic plague is caused by a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. Pets can spread infections to people through their tissues or fluids, like when they cough or sneeze.

People often get the plague when they are bitten by a rodent flea that carries the plague bacteria. In this case, the pet cat must have eaten the infected rodent.

Cats get more easily sick from the plague than dogs because their bodies struggle to get rid of the infection. They are also more likely to hunt and catch rodents.

 This is not the first case of human plague in Oregon. Eight years ago, a teenage girl also got infected during a hunting trip in 2015 from a flea bite.

Dr Richard Fawcett has also given treatment to the infected pet cat of the patient. Everyone who was near the resident and their pet was also given medication to avoid getting sick.

Instructions have been given to avoid touching rodents and their fleas, keep pets on a leash when outside, use flea control products on pets, and stay away from rodents.

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