Michigan Man Tests Positive for Bubonic Plague

Medical Microscopy Yersinia pestis bacteria that had gathered on the proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. The Y. pestis bacterium is the pathogen that causes bubonic plague, scanning electron micrograph (SEM).
Medical Microscopy Yersinia pestis bacteria that had gathered on the proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. The Y. pestis bacterium is the pathogen that causes bubonic plague, scanning electron micrograph (SEM).

A Michigan resident is recovering from the state’s first ever confirmed case of bubonic plague, state health officials said on Monday.

The adult resident of Marquette County in the state’s Upper Peninsula recently returned from a Colorado area with reported plague activity and there is no cause for concern about human-to-human contact, the state health department said.

It was the 14th human plague case reported nationally in 2015, more than four times the average of three cases annually of the rare and potentially life-threatening flea-borne illness, state health officials said.

An elderly Utah resident died from plague in August and two people have succumbed to the disease this year in Colorado.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the plague was introduced to the United States in 1900 by rat-infested steamships that had sailed from affected areas, mostly in Asia.

Early symptoms of plague include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Eric Beech)

SOURCE: Reuters

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