A woman from Michigan contracted the bubonic plague, but the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reassures people that they shall keep a close eye on the case in order to stop the disease from spreading.
The resident of Marquette County, Michigan is the first ever person from Michigan to be infected with the bubonic plague. Health officials expect the woman to fully recover from the disease. According to them her current state of health is stable and she is said to be slowly recovering.
In the United States, the cases of bubonic plague seems to be increasing especially in western states such as Colorado or California. In August, a person from Pueblo County, Colorado died from the plague, after supposedly getting infected from fleas on a dead prairie dog. In 2015 a number of 14 cases of plague have been reported in the United States, which overall do not represent such high number.
“People who are travelling and recreating outdoors in the western U.S. should be aware of the risk for exposure to plague. Use insect repellent on your clothing and skin and make sure that any pets that may be along are receiving regular flea treatments.” advised Dr. Eden Wells from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
Depending on how it affects the human body, the plague can be divided into three different categories: bubonic plague, which is the most common, pneumonic plague and septicaemic plague. In the United States approximately 1000 cases of mostly bubonic plague have been recorded between 1900 and 2012.
Symptoms of the disease usually appear two or six days after the person is infected. Abdominal pain, fever and nausea are some of the symptoms that can occur. The pneumonic plague is bound to happen when the bacteria reaches the person’s lungs. This type of plague can be transmitted through air.
The bacterium called Yersinia pestis, normally found in fleas or rodents, is the main factor that causes plague. People often associate rats with the plague, since supposedly they are the most common species of rodents to have spread the disease.
Possibly the most well known case of black plague epidemic is the one that occurred in the 14th century. The Black Death is responsible for wiping out more than 60 percent of Europe’s population by taking the lives of an estimate number of 75 to 200 million people.
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