Health officials: Owner catches rare plague from his cat

Health officials in central Oregon have reported a rare case of bubonic plague in a pet owner, believed to have been contracted from their cat.

Last week, Deschutes County Health Services confirmed a case of the plague in a local resident, likely transmitted by their symptomatic pet cat, as stated in a Feb. 7 press release. Dr. Richard Fawcett, Deschutes County health officer, mentioned that all close contacts of the resident and their pet have received medication to prevent illness.


This incident marks the first occurrence of bubonic plague in Oregon since 2015, according to the state’s health authority, emphasizing its rarity in the region. Fortunately, Deschutes County Health officials identified and treated the case early, minimizing community risk, with no additional cases reported during the investigation.


The plague spreads through infected flea bites or contact with sick animals, Oregon Health Authority explained. Deschutes County Health Services advised residents to avoid contact with rodents and fleas, refrain from handling sick or dead rodents, and prevent pets from approaching rodents or their habitats.

Written by Telha

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