Friday, June 15, 2012

Did Oregon man get the plague from the cat or the mouse? Attempted rescue results in fight for his life

                Good Day Humboldt County!

There’s a lot of mysterious things happening every day. I enjoy discovering mysteries, and solving them even more.

  However, I wouldn’t know where to start to try and explain why Oregon holds the dubious record of having the most modern cases of the plague in America!

A very unlucky Oregon man got the plague from either a feral cat or a mouse recently. Don’t ask me why he tried to wrench the rodent out of a feral cat’s mouth. I’m still shaking my head. Perhaps Oregon’s state public health veterinarian, Emilio DeBess summed up the situation best:"Taking a mouse out of a cat's mouth is probably not a good idea."

“An Oregon man appears to be suffering from the plague after he tried to rescue a mouse from the mouth of a feral cat. "This can be a serious illness," Emilio DeBess, state public health veterinarian, tells the Oregonian. "But it is treatable with antibiotics, and it's also preventable."

The unnamed man, in his 50s, is receiving medical attention and is listed as being in critical condition. Doctors have not officially confirmed that he is suffering from the plague but say he is showing several symptoms leading to a likely diagnosis.

What may be the most fascinating aspect of his condition is that this is not the only recent case of the plague in Oregon or in the U.S. In fact, The Oregonian says it's the fifth such case in the Beaver State since 1995. DeBess says Oregon holds the record for modern cases of the plague in the U.S. with about one case per year since 1934. In that time, four people have died from their symptoms associated with the blood infection.

There is a plague vaccine, but the illness has become so rare in the U.S. that the vaccine is no longer sold here. Even though cases of the plague are rare, the bacteria that causes it still exists and is fatal in more than 90 percent of untreated cases.

The man was reportedly bitten on June 2 and checked himself into a hospital on June 8. He is said to be suffering from symptoms of septicemic plague, the rarest of the three known forms of the blood infection in which the Yersinia pestis bacteria can manifest.

And before anyone starts pointing fingers, DeBess said doctors still aren't sure whether the man contracted the illness from the cat or the mouse. The cat, which has since died, has been taken to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing. "Taking a mouse out of a cat's mouth is probably not a good idea," DeBess said.” (source)

I hope the unidentified man survives. We all make mistakes. Some worse than others.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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