US man critical after contracting bubonic plague

Man contracted the disease after being bitten whilst attempting to get a mouse away from a stray cat

A man has been hospitalised in the US after contracting the Bubonic Plague.

The unidentified man, who is in his 50s checked himself into hospital last Friday after developing symptoms of the disease.

According to The Oregonian newspaper the man contracted the disease after being bitten whilst attempting to get a mouse away from a stray cat.

The man, who is from the rural area of Crook County, is thought to have been bitten on Saturday June 2, and checked himself into hospital the following Friday.

He had developed swollen lymph nodes, which is a common symptom of the now relatively rare disease.

He is reportedly now in a critical condition after deteriorating in hospital.

Symptoms of the disease can include abdominal pain, and bleeding from the anus, mouth or nose. 

Ten to twenty people a year are diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague in the US.

There have, however, only been four fatalities from the disease in America since 1934.

Up to three thousand cases of the disease are reported worldwide every year.

The current victim is the fifth case in Oregan since 1995.

Known as the Black Death the plague wiped out a third of Europe's population during the 14th century.

Humans can catch the disease by having contact with rodents carrying Yersinia pestis - the bacterium that causes the disease.

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