Health Officials Reveal That A Boy Has Been Diagnosed With The Plague
If you've heard of the plague, chances are it was way back in history class in school, when you were no doubt scared shitless by tales of the bubonic plague, aka the Black Death - but at least you could breathe easily in the knowledge that it was more or less a thing of the past.
Although globally people are still diagnosed with the disease, it's much more rare than it was in the 14th century, when a bubonic plague swept across Europe with a shockingly high death toll.
But now health officials have now revealed that a boy in Boise, Idaho, is recovering after being diagnosed with the medieval disease.
According to the MailOnline, this is the first human case in the state of Idaho since the early 1990s and is believed to be the only one reported this year.
It is believed that the boy was diagnosed late last month and lab results confirmed that he had the bubonic plague, which affects the lymph nodes rather than the deadly pneumonic plague which affects the lungs.
Health officials are now trying to determine whether he contracted the disease in Idaho or during a recent family trip to Oregon.
The boy, who remains anonymous, has not been identified but we do know he is now home after a course of antibiotics in a local hospital.
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MailOnline reported that the plague infects around seven Americans a year and is generally treatable with antibiotic medication - at least this figure shows that it's generally under control.
It is most common in south Colorado, northern Arizona and New Mexico - hundreds of miles away from both where the boy lives and where he visited.
However researchers did find traces of Yersinia pestis last year. For those who don't have a biology degree, that's the bacterium which causes plague.
According to Quanta Magazine, it's usually passed through fleabites so direct contact with infected animals could lead to transmission.
The Black Death of the Middle Ages has been estimated to have killed between 155-200 million people in Europe in the 14th century, including one in every three Europeans.
We know antibiotics are effective now but without prompt treatment it can cause serious illness or even death.
The CDC urges people to respond quickly to any rat or mouse infestations in your home, to wear gloves when dealing with animals that could carry it and to keep fleas off your pets.
Featured Image Credit: PA