An Oregon resident has been diagnosed with the state’s first case of bubonic plague in six years, health officials announced last week. Deschutes County Health Services released a statement linking the resident’s illness to their pet cat.
The resident and their pet, along with their close contacts, have been given medication to prevent further illness. Dr. Richard Fawcett, the Deschutes County health officer, emphasized that the early identification and treatment of the disease presents low risk to the community at large, with no additional cases emerging during the communicable disease investigation.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, the last human case of plague in Oregon was reported six years ago. Symptoms of the plague include fever, weakness, nausea, chills, muscle aches, and visibly swollen lymph nodes. The most common animals to carry bubonic plague in Central Oregon are squirrels and chipmunks