Thank goodness for antibiotics as the current rate of death is image16% compared to over 60% before World War 2.  The man is in the hospital in critical condition and the cat that bit him is dead and has been sent off to CDC to study.  To be safe blood samples were collected from neighbors pets and from animals in the area to see if the plague is an issue. 

Several people are also being treated that had come in contact with the man taking antibiotics.  The man was trying to remove a dead rodent from the mouth of the cat when he was bit.    BD

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Health officials have confirmed that an Oregon man has the plague after he was bitten while trying to take a dead rodent from the mouth of a stray cat.

The unidentified Prineville, Ore., man was in critical condition on Friday.

He is suffering from a blood-borne version of the disease that wiped out at least one-third of Europe in the 14th century — that one, the bubonic plague, affects lymph nodes.

The bacteria thrive in forests, semi-arid areas and grasslands, which plague-carrying rodents from wood rats to rock squirrels call home.

Once a coin flip with death, the plague is now easier to handle for humans in the U.S. The national mortality rate stood at 66 percent before World War II, but advances in antibiotics dropped that rate to its present 16 percent.


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