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Oregon was hit with the outbreak for the first time in eight years, after health officials said it was confirmed by a state resident — and suspected of being infected by their pet cat.

of Deschutes County Health Services announced On Wednesday, a local resident claimed to have contracted the outbreak, saying it was likely that their “symptomatic pet cat” had infected the man.

Dr. Richard Fawcett, Deschutes County health officer, said: “Close contacts of the resident and their pet have been contacted and given medication to prevent disease.

Dr Fawcett said the cat was “extremely ill” and had fluid-filled bowels, which he said “probably” meant an infection. NBC.

The human disease has been identified and treated in the past, meaning it poses little threat to the public, the health service said.

When the patient was admitted to the hospital, the infection reached the bloodstream, the outlet reported.

The independent Contact Deschutes County Health Services for more information on this.

However, the patient “responded very well to antibiotic treatment”, according to the doctor.

As the epidemic progresses, it becomes more difficult to treat.

No additional cases of the epidemic were recorded during the investigation. Dr. Fawcett said he would be “surprised” if he saw other cases, according to NBC.

In Central Oregon, the most common animals that carry the disease are squirrels and chipmunks, but rats and other rodents can also carry the disease, the county health department said.

Other issues

The last outbreak was back in 2015, according to Oregon health officials.

In the year News reports in 2015 indicated that a sixteen-year-old girl in Crook County, Oregon, was infected with the outbreak.

Authorities said at the time that the girl was believed to have contracted the disease from a flea bite during a hunting trip in Morrow County, which left her ill and recovering in the intensive care unit.

Non-human, cat-related outbreak reports have been published in the past year, e.g A case in Wyoming, They reported one case in a pet cat, but no human diseases, and Another one in ColoradoHe also found a cat with the disease.

differently State of Colorado, The outbreak was also linked to the death of one of its residents in 2023.

In the year It’s not clear how many cases of the outbreak there were across the U.S. in 2023, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were nine reported cases in 2020 and two deaths.

The total number of reported outbreaks in the U.S. between 1970 and 2020 was 496, according to the CDC, with an average of seven reported cases per year.

What is an epidemic?

Epidemics are related to the Black Death, which killed millions in Europe in the 1300s, or the global pandemic that began in the 19th century.

Today, cases still exist, and modern antibiotics are effective in treating the disease, so it is not as devastating as it used to be.

The plague is transmitted to humans or animals through the bite of an infected flea or contact with an infected animal. It is caused by bacteria Yarsinia pest.

In humans, symptoms appear two to eight days after exposure.

Symptoms may include sudden onset of fever, nausea, weakness, chills, muscle aches and/or swollen lymph nodes called buboes, the county health department said.

While a handful of cases have been reported in the United States, outbreaks have occurred in Africa, Asia and South America, with most human cases occurring in Africa since the 1990s, the CDC said.

What advice did Oregon officials give?

After the case was confirmed, the regional health service urged residents to avoid contact with rats and fleas, keep pets outside, protect them with flea control products, and stay away from rats.

Pet cats are “highly susceptible” to plague, he said, adding that felines can transmit the bacteria to humans.

“If possible, avoid rat hunting,” the health service said. “If your cat becomes ill after contact with mice, consult a veterinarian immediately.”

They advised to keep wild rodents out of the house, not to roost or roost near animal burials or where dead rodents are seen, to avoid feeding scorpions, chipmunks or other rodents, and to store food and refuse in rodent-proof containers.

To reduce exposure to fleas, people should wear long pants with boot tops and insect repellent socks and pant cuffs.