Skip to comments.Oregon man suffering from the plague is in critical condition
Posted on 06/14/2012 1:48:19 PM PDT by kingattax
An Oregon man is at death's door in a hospital battling a rare case of the infamous Black Death plague, health officials said.
The unidentified man, who is in his 50s, was bitten on the hand while trying to pull a mouse away from a stray cat on June 2 and got sick several days later, doctors at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend told The Oregonian newspaper.
The man was thought to be suffering from septicemic plague meaning the ruthless bacteria was spreading in his bloodstream and was in critical condition on Tuesday, doctors said.
Karen Yeargain, the county health department's communicable disease coordinator, told The Oregonian that officials were working to confirm that the man had the plague, but that all the symptoms were there, including stomach pain, bleeding mouth, nose and anus and dying tissue.
He's just the fifth person to catch the plague in the state since 1995.
Only about 10 to 15 people in the United States catch the frightening illness each year, typically in western states.
Globally, health officials report about 1,000 to 3,000 cases per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Famously known as "Black Death," the disease killed around 75 million people around a third of the population when it swept through Europe in the 14th century.
Victims were often left with blackened, rotted tissue around their noses, lips, fingers and toes.
Rat-borne fleas usually carry the bacterium that causes the plague Yersinia pestis and humans can catch it from contact with rodent or other animals.
Oregon health officials don't know if the man was bitten by the cat or the mouse.
The cat, a stray that had wandered the man's rural Crook County neighborhood for around six years, has since died and was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.
"Taking a mouse out of a cat's mouth is probably not a good idea," Emilio DeBess, Oregon's public health veterinarian, told The Oregonian.
Early plague symptoms include fever, chills, headache, weakness and swollen nodes in the neck, armpit or groin.
It can be treated with antibiotics, but 1 in 7 cases are fatal, according to the CDC.
“The unidentified man, who is in his 50s, was bitten on the hand while trying to pull a mouse away from a stray cat”...
A big no-no imho...
Why would you bring a human hand to a mouse-cat fight?
Also in Oregon, we have someone who contracted rabies via bat bite while trying to get the bat away from her dog.
The dog had rabies vaccine. She didn’t.
While I feel sorry for the man and hope for the best for him, I cannot fathom why you would bother trying to get a mouse away from a stray cat.
Maybe he was hungry.
Very unfortunate situation all the way around.
“Why would you bring a human hand to a mouse-cat fight?”
It’s Oregon so the odds are that this may be one of those peace-loving idiots who thought he could mediate the dispute between the cat and the mouse just like idiots like him think they can mediate the dispute between Muslims and everyone else.
Prairie dogs have the most prolific amount of plague fleas. That’s why when I’m home I go to eastern WA, camp out and spend days popping them. The farmers are thankful too because their cattle wind up breaking legs in their dugouts. Some animal rights group have been trying to get laws passed against cruelty to them by shooting them. The farmers and cattle ranchers have shown them the polite way out of town.
Sounds like this guy deserves the Darwin award of the year for his selfless sacrifice. What an idiot! What idiot tries to save a mouse from a feral cat!?!
Can’t really call one case an epidemic yet.
my thoughts exactly...
Bet he voted for Obama.
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