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Patient may have caught vicious disease from pet cat, health officials warn


First Human Case of Bubonic Plague in 8 Years:

Location: Oregon, United States.

Transmission: Health officials suspect the patient contracted the disease from a house cat.

Symptoms: The infection typically manifests with flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, chills, and headache, progressing to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Severity: In severe cases, patients may experience bleeding from the mouth, nose, or rectum, along with pus-filled boils known as “buboes”.

Treatment: The patient is undergoing antibiotic treatment, and relatives have also been treated to prevent further spread of the disease.

Transmission and Suspected Causes:

Screenshot 2024 02 13 at 8.51.45 PM

Cat-to-Human Transmission: Health officials speculate that the cat may have been infected by fleas, transmitting the disease to the owner. Alternatively, the owner may have come into contact with the cat’s contaminated fluids.

Cats as Carriers: Due to their hunting behavior and inability to clear the infection, cats can serve as carriers of the bacteria, making them susceptible to the plague.

Deadliness of Bubonic Plague:

Global Cases: The World Health Organization reports 1,000-2,000 plague cases annually worldwide.

Treatment: While modern medicine can effectively treat the disease, untreated cases can lead to immediate death.

Historical Significance: The Black Death, which occurred in the 14th century, was the most deadly pandemic, claiming 200 million lives in Africa, Asia, and Europe and decimating 60% of Europe’s population.

Current Status of the Plague:

Ongoing Cases: Despite perceptions of eradication, outbreaks still occur in various countries where animals carry the bacteria.

Affected Countries: Plague outbreaks have been reported in the United States, Peru, China, Bolivia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Russia.

Preventive Measures:

Insect Repellents: Travellers are advised to use insect repellents when near nature to avoid flea bites, which can transmit the disease.

Avoidance: To prevent transmission, individuals should avoid close contact with sick or dead animals and crowded areas where plague has been recently reported.

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