The Return of the Bubonic Plague

The bubonic plague is a type of bacterial infection most famously known for wiping out a third of the human population during the Middle Ages. This devastating disease is typically spread via bites from an infected flea. Thankfully, modern medicine has found a way to keep the rest of the human race from suffering from this terrible disease, but even today a small percentage of people still contract it.

A New Case in the United States

Some 1,000 miles from Denver in the state of Oregon, a local teenager has contracted the bubonic plague while on a camping trip. The amount of blood that is coughed up by one suffering from this disease is enough to make even a phlebotomy specialist who has taken the proper classes feel a little nauseated.

This is not the first case that doctors have seen in the U.S. recently. In the summer of 2014, four Colorado residents living just outside of Denver were identified as having bubonic plague after coming in close contact with a dog carrying the disease. Specialists believe the dog had been infected after coming into contact with a diseased prairie dog or rabbit. Although the dog did not survive, all of the patients infected were able to make a full recovery.

How to Know if You Have Bubonic Plague

It is important to realize the extreme rarity of the bubonic plague. Phlebotomy specialists who have taken the proper classes will probably never see a single case in their entire career. After being bitten by an infected flea, the infection will localize in a lymph node, or bubo.

Chills, seizures, a high fever, muscle cramps and pain are all common symptoms of bubonic plague. In more severe cases, a patient will experience extreme pain and will vomit up enough blood to make even a phlebotomy specialist trained in special classes feel alarmed.

The bubonic plague spared no prisoners during the Middle Ages, however in cases today such as those in Oregon and near Denver, the disease has been proven to be treatable as long as professional assistance is received immediately.

Leah Ferguson is a health writer reporter for Fusion 360, an SEO and content marketing agency. Information provided by Phlebotomy Training Specialists. Follow on Twitter

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