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Oregon Man Likely Contracted Bubonic Plague from Pet Cat, According to MedNews

Title: Oregon Man Likely Contracted Bubonic Plague from Pet Cat, According to MedNews


In a startling revelation, an Oregon man has likely contracted the bubonic plague from his pet cat, according to a report by MedNews. The bubonic plague, infamous for its devastating impact during the Middle Ages, is a rare but potentially deadly bacterial infection. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding zoonotic diseases and taking necessary precautions when interacting with pets.

Understanding the Bubonic Plague

The bubonic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is primarily transmitted through fleas that infest rodents such as rats. Humans can contract the disease through flea bites or by coming into direct contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids. While rare, cases of human infection still occur today.

The Oregon Case

The recent case in Oregon involves a man who developed symptoms consistent with the bubonic plague after his pet cat fell ill and subsequently died. The man had reportedly been bitten by fleas while attempting to remove a dead mouse from his cat’s mouth. Shortly after, he experienced flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.

Prompt Diagnosis and Treatment

Recognizing the severity of his symptoms, the man sought medical attention promptly. Doctors suspected the possibility of bubonic plague due to the patient’s history and symptoms. They initiated immediate treatment with antibiotics effective against Yersinia pestis. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing this potentially fatal infection.

Preventing Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic diseases are infections that can be transmitted between animals and humans. While cases like the one in Oregon are rare, it is essential to take precautions to minimize the risk of contracting such diseases from pets. Here are some preventive measures:

1. Regular Veterinary Care: Ensure your pets receive routine veterinary care, including vaccinations and parasite control, to reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases.

2. Flea and Tick Control: Use appropriate flea and tick prevention products recommended by your veterinarian to protect your pets from infestations.

3. Hygiene Practices: Wash your hands thoroughly after handling pets, especially before eating or touching your face. Avoid close contact with animals that appear sick or exhibit unusual behavior.

4. Avoiding Wild Rodents: Discourage your pets from hunting or interacting with wild rodents, as they can carry diseases like the bubonic plague.

5. Prompt Medical Attention: If you experience symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, or flu-like symptoms after potential exposure to infected animals, seek immediate medical attention.


The recent case of a man likely contracting the bubonic plague from his pet cat in Oregon serves as a reminder of the ongoing risk of zoonotic diseases. While rare, it is crucial to take preventive measures when interacting with pets and to seek prompt medical attention if symptoms arise. By staying informed and following proper hygiene practices, we can minimize the risk of contracting such infections and ensure the well-being of both humans and animals.