It’s not often you hear about a patient suffering from some disease long believed to be extinct, or at least unlikely to surface in today’s modern U.S. society. But a case reminding of one of the most devastating pandemics in human history occurred in Oregon, the state with a black plague patient in 2012.
The truth is that today nobody fears the black plague risk anymore. We’re more concerned with developing some type of cancer, catching the common cold or hepatitis. Black plague is seen by many to be extinct, but Oregon’s patient proves the contrary.
The local newspaper The Oregonian, writes that a man suffering from black plague, also known as the black death, has been admitted to bend hospital. The newspaper adds that the man got the bacterial infection after a stray cat bite his hand while the man was trying to get a mouse out of the cat’s mouth.
At the moment, the black plague patient is hospitalized and in critical condition. The ordinary treatment includes hospitalization, antibiotics administration as well as isolation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website reads that it takes 2 to 6 days before a person is infected with bubonic plague.
If detected early the disease is easier to handle. However “when bubonic plague is left untreated, plague bacteria invade the bloodstream…and cause a severe and often fatal condition”.
For the most part, black plague cases in the United States remain seldom and contained to low-income areas. However, over the last thirty years the disease’s incidence started to be noticed in more affluent areas. A new study shows that factors that were commonly linked to the human plague changed over time.
The case in Oregon isn’t the only one. In fact since 1995, another four cases were reported to the Center for Disease Control. While experts say the disease is serious, they also explain it is preventable and treatable with antibiotics. In fact, in the United States only 1 in 7 people with black plague actually die. In the rural areas of the United States 10 to 20 people get infected each year, and only 14 percent of the cases are usually fatal.