The black death is not the type of disease we expect to read about in the news these days, after all most people associate the plague with mid-evil times, however a man in Oregon is being treated for that very reason after he was bit by a mouse while trying to get it away from a stray cat.
The patient is being treated at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend and he is only the fifth case of the black death in Oregon since 1995.
While the disease can still lead to death doctors are capable of treating it with modern-day antibiotics.
According to reports the patient was bitten on Saturday, June 2 and developed a fever several days later, by June 8 he had checked himself into the hospital. Lab tests shortly after he arrived confirmed that his classic symptoms of the black death were in fact the plague.
The disease is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis which can cause three different types of illnesses depending on the patients specific reactions. In this case the patient had swollen lymph nodes (bubonic plague), and he showed signs of the bacteria multiplying in the bloodstream, known as septicemic plague. The patient has not yet had lung problems which is caused by pneumonic plague.
Patients who believe they may have contracted the black death should look for signs of abdominal pain, bleeding from the mouth, nose or rectum and even dying tissue.
In the meantime the cat passed away and is now being studied by a team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All four of the other patients reporting the plague since 1995 have since recovered, however when it first emerged in mid-evil times nearly one-third of the population was wiped out by the disease as no antibiotics were available at that time to treat for the bacteria.