Pneumonic Plague

For the first time in 90 years, U.S. health officials say they have diagnosed a case of the plague that may have spread in the air from one person to another. Don't be alarmed — the plague these days is treatable with antibiotics and is exceptionally rare (just 10 cases were reported nationwide in 2014).

And if the plague has become mostly a curiosity in the United States, this case is more curious than most.

The plague is making headlines again.

A teenage girl in Oregon reportedly came down with bubonic plague while on a hunting trip. The culprit, as always, is a flea, which can spread the infectious bacterial disease from squirrels and other rodents.

This isn't the first time the disease that terrorized the medieval era has made a modern appearance.

In the summer of 2014, five cases were reported: four in Colorado and one in China.

The Colorado residents were diagnosed after coming into contact with an infected dog.


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