18.06.19 Return of the Plague?

June 19, 2018
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“Black Death” Returns?

American child tests positive for a mysterious case of bubonic plague.

What To Know

Infected Idaho Child

What We Know:

  • Child from Elmore county, Idaho where ground squirrels tested positive for plague in 2016.
  • However, child also visited Oregon – another state where plague found in recent years IN rodents.
  • First case in Idaho since 1992.

What Is Plague?

It’s not “the plague” – it’s technically just “plague” but both are used.

  • Illness spreads through fleas that bite infected rodents.
  • Rare to pass from human-to-human.
  • Killed millions in Europe during Middle Ages.
  • Brought to U.S. through infected rodents on steamships in 1900s.

Symptoms, Cure, History

  • “fever, headache, chills, and weakness and one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes” (CDC)
  • Treatment: Antibiotics
  • Last major outbreak: 1924 Los Angeles
  • Avg of 7 plague cases surface every year in U.S. – mostly in West/Southwest

Click: View Map

Did you know health officials have often worried about plague used as a weapon by terrorists?

by Jenna Lee,

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