First human case of bubonic plague confirmed in Oregon by health officials since 2015

Bubonic Plague Emerges in Oregon: Health Officials Remind Public of Risks and Prevention Measures

Oregon has reported its first case of bubonic plague since 2015, according to health officials. The resident, from Deschutes County, is believed to have been infected with the disease by their cat. All close contacts of the resident and their pet have been contacted and provided medication to prevent illness. Dr. Richard Fawcett, the Deschutes County health officer, reassured the community that there is little risk to it since the case was identified and treated in the early stages of the disease. There have been no additional cases of plague that have emerged during the communicable disease investigation.

Humans typically begin to show symptoms of bubonic plague within two to eight days of exposure, and officials reminded the public that humans can be infected through bites or contact with infected fleas or animals. In Central Oregon, squirrels and chipmunks are commonly known carriers of bubonic plague. However, mice and other rodents can also carry the disease. To prevent the spread of bubonic plague, residents are advised to avoid contact with sick or injured rodents as well as fleas that may be carrying the disease.

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