A resident of Marquette, Michigan is the first case of bubonic plague in the state’s public health history.
According to health officials, Alicia Plescher is currently recovering from bubonic plague, which she contracted during a trip in Colorado earlier in the summer. While the flea-borne bacteria that infected the resident of Marquette is the same Yersinia Pestis that caused the Black Death of the 14th century, Michigan health authorities hold that there is no cause to be alarmed by a potential epidemic.
According to Doctor Terry Frankovich of the Marquette County Health Department:
“It’s the same organism, but in this case the infection resides in a lymph node”.
Alisha Plescher confirmed on Monday that she was infected as a flea bit her while she was on a trip with her husband, hiking and joining music festivals near Colorado Springs, Colorado. As she returned to her home county, the symptoms of the bubonic plague had already started settling in.
With 103-degree fever and severe pain in her leg, accompanied by rashes erupting all over her body, she rushed to the hospital. Here, a specialist in infectious diseases informed her that she made it to the public health history in the state of Michigan as the first documented case of bubonic plague.
The bubonic plague has three ways of manifesting. The first, which was observed with Alicia Plescher in the first case of bubonic plague in Michigan, results in swollen and painful lymph nodes. Typically, the lymph nodes that are mostly under attack are located in the neck, armpit or groin. A second, more contagious form of the bubonic plague is the pneumonic one.
This is contagious and highly dangerous. It rapidly installs in the lungs and causes pneumonia. Following, respiratory failure sets in if it isn’t detected in due time. The third form of bubonic plague is the septicemic one. This is also the most dangerous form of the plague as the bacteria multiplies rapidly, installing in all organs and causing them to fail.
Earlier this years, a Colorado teen died from septicemic plague.
Yet, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the higher risk of being infected with the bubonic plague stems from flea bites, coming in contact with fluids or tissue of an infected animal or during camping, particularly in sites where rodents or fleas have easy access.
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