Mich. man has plague: Bubonic Plague Michigan

Published: September 15, 2015

Mich. man has plague: Bubonic Plague Michigan, Michigan health officials say they have confirmed the first case of the plague by a Michigan resident.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Monday a Marquette County resident is recovering after being treated for the bubonic plague. The resident recently returned from an area of Colorado that had reported plague activity.

Officials say it’s the 14th case nationally this year for the rare, life-threatening, flea-borne illness. It’s caused by bacteria occurring among wild rodents and their fleas in some areas of the western U.S.

That region is experiencing an increase in plague cases, four of which have been fatal. Officials don’t know the cause.

Health experts say there’s no concern regarding human-to-human transmission with this case. They add plague generally doesn’t occur in Michigan.

In June, a Colorado teenage died of the plague.

The plague killed millions of people in Europe in the Middle Ages in a series of outbreaks known as the Black Death. “Now, it’s very rare, especially in the U.S. There are only about 7 to 10 cases a year, but it still exists,” medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips told “CBS This Morning.” “Think of rodents in very rural states — western states, southwest, ranches, farms — that’s likely what happened here.”


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