U.S. Teen Confirmed to have Bubonic Plague
by Fahad Al Sabah 0012326
Salem Al Sabah 0011118
A young women in the US state of Oregon is confirmed to have been infected with the bubonic plague. Her name was not released because she has not reached the legal age of 18. The women was believed to have been infected while on a hunting trip in October. She started showing signs of the illness on October 21st, which was later confirmed to be the deadly plague. Health Department officials believe that fleas may have been the transmitters of the disease. She is currently recovering in an Oregon hospital.
Many people believe that the plague is a illness of the past, having killed millions of people across Europe and Asia from the 14th to 17th century, but it is still very much a part of our environment. According to the Center for Disease Control in America, there have been 15 cases of the plague this year. Of those 15 cases, there have only been four fatalities.
So how do you get the plague and how can you protect yourself? The plague is carried by rodents like rats and squirrels and transmitted through scratches or bites. If one of these rodent dies, the fleas that feed on their remains can carry the disease as well, and pass it to humans. It is recommended not to feed, trap or pet rodents to reduce the likelihood that you would be infected.
The Bubonic plague is pretty rare in Oregon. This is just the eighth case that has been confirmed since 1995. The most common time of year to contract the deadly disease is in the late spring and early fall. On average, there are about eight cases of the plague each year, except for 2006 where there were 17 in the United States. The most common states that report cases of the plague are New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. If you contract the disease, you will probably start showing symptoms after two to six days later. These symptoms include: vomiting, stomach pain, and fever. People who feel sick should see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis increases the chances of survival. Believe it or not the plague only kills about 16% of infected people. However, that number increases to 70% if you don’t know that you have it or do not see a doctor right away.
The bacteria we call the plague, Yersinia Pestis, killed nearly 60% of Europe’s population a few hundred years ago. Today, the plague is treatable with antibiotics. The most difficult part is getting the correct diagnosis. The bubonic plague is also sometimes called Black Death, as the virus attacks your lymph nodes and turns them black and blue. In some rare cases, someone infected can recover without medical treatment; the reason for that is unknown. The disease has become so rare, very few people study it any more.
People who live in areas where the plague is prevalent should wear long pants and sleeves. They should also keep their trash clear of anything that may attract rodents. And finally, if you have pets you should check them regularly for fleas.