A flea may have just given an Oregon teen the bubonic plague a.k.a the “Black Death,” according to the Oregon Health Authority. The World Health Organization, the folks who broke hearts everywhere after saying bacon causes cancer, has said the plague is treatable with antibiotics when caught early. Early symptoms such as vomiting, fever, and severe lymph node pain can take as long as 7 to 10 days to appear.
The teen is believed to have contracted the disease after being bit by a flea while on a hunting trip on Oct. 16. She was later hospitalized on Oct. 24 and is currently being treated at the Crook County ICU.
No other information has been provided about the teen or her condition at this time. In the meantime authorities have advised people who plan on going hunting to avoid rodents like squirrels and chipmunks.
State public health veterinarian Emilio DeBess advised people to keep their pets away from the rodents, too. "Fortunately, plague remains a rare disease, but people need to take appropriate precautions with wildlife and their pets to keep it that way,” DeBess.
According to the OHA this is the only case in Oregon. An August report from the Center for Disease Control reported 11 cases of human plague for this year, an abnormally high number, leaving three dead of those cases.