An Oregon Resident Suspected to have Contracted Bubonic Plague from their Cat


A rare case of the plague has been confirmed in an Oregon resident, marking the first instance in approximately eight years, according to health officials. The individual is believed to have been infected by their symptomatic pet cat, as announced by Deschutes County Health Services on Wednesday. Dr. Richard Fawcett, Deschutes County health officer, stated that all close contacts of the resident and their pet have been notified and provided with medication to prevent illness.

According to NBC, Dr. Fawcett mentioned that the cat was severely ill with a draining abscess, indicating a significant infection. The human case was detected and treated early in the disease’s progression, minimizing the risk to the community, as stated by health services. By the time the patient was hospitalized, the infection had advanced into the bloodstream, reported the outlet. The Independent has reached out to Deschutes County Health Services for further details. Despite the severity of the disease, the patient responded positively to antibiotic treatment, noted the doctor. However, treating the plague becomes progressively challenging as it advances.

During the investigation, no additional cases of the plague have been documented. Dr. Fawcett expressed to NBC that he would be “very surprised” if any other cases arise. County health services stated that the most common carriers of the plague in Central Oregon are squirrels and chipmunks, although mice and other rodents can also harbor the disease.

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