Measles, tuberculosis… bubonic plague?! If headlines about old-time diseases on the comeback have you worried, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe (and sane) amid recent outbreaks.
Think this notorious killer died with the Middle Ages? The disease actually persists in parts of Africa, Asia, and South America. And there have been 16 reported cases of plague, with four deaths, in the United States this past year. Most recently, a 16-year-old girl from Oregon was sickened and hospitalized after apparently being bitten by a flea on a hunting trip.
You can get plague from fleas that have carried the Yersinia pestis bacteria from an infected rodent, or by handling an infected animal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bubonic plague is the most common form in the U.S., while pneumonic plague (affecting the lungs) and septicemic plague (affecting the blood) are less prevalent but more serious. Symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, chills, headache, and swollen lymph glands. FULL REPORT