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Eastern Oregon Girl Contracts Plague

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases via CDC

Health officials say a teen girl from eastern Oregon has contracted the bubonic plague. Officials say the Crook County girl is believed to have gotten the disease from a flea bite during a hunting trip.

The plague, then known as "The Black Death", wiped out a third of the population of Europe in the middle ages. Jason Davis is with Lane County Public Health.

Davis: "It is absolutely still with us. But thankfully, it's contained primarily to our rodent population and, through advances in science and public health, we've been able to separate ourselves, pretty successfully, from living in close proximity to rodents. And that's part of the reason why we don't have more cases of the plague."

Davis advises staying away from squirrels and other rodents.
The girl, who contracted bubonic plague, is recovering at a hospital intensive care unit. Her condition isn't known. Eight human cases have been diagnosed in Oregon since 1995. No deaths have been reported.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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