Oregon teen confirmed to have rare case of bubonic plague - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon teen confirmed to have rare case of bubonic plague

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CROOK COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

An Oregon teen was diagnosed with a rare case of bubonic plague and health officials believe she got the disease from a flea bite.

The Crook County girl was diagnosed with bubonic plague following a hunting trip near Heppner in Morrow County that started Oct. 16.

She became ill on Oct. 21 and was hospitalized on Oct. 24.

The girl is now recovering in a Bend hospital's intensive care unit, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Plague is treatable with antibiotics if caught early.

Investigators believe she was bitten by a flea carrying the disease during the hunting trip.

Nobody else is believed to have been infected, according to the Oregon Health Authority. There have only been eight human cases diagnosed of bubonic plague since 1995, and no deaths have been reported in connection to the disease in that time.

Plague is an infectious bacterial disease that is carried by squirrels, chipmunks and other wild rodents and their fleas.

When an infected rodent becomes sick and dies, its fleas can carry the infection to other warm-blooded animals or humans through bites.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, reminds people who find or observe sick or dead rodents to contact the agency's veterinarians at 1-866-968-2600.

Plague symptoms typically develop in one to four days after exposure and include fever, chills, headache, weakness and a bloody or watery cough.

Untreated plague can be fatal for animals and people.

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