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Michigan Bubonic Plague: State Reports First-Ever Case of Illness

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By    |   Tuesday, 15 Sep 2015 01:57 PM

A Michigan resident has come down with the bubonic plague, making her the first person from the state to ever contract the illness, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday.

The resident, a woman from Marquette County along Lake Superior, is one of 14 reported cases to rise up in the U.S. this year, a figure that doubles the country’s current annual case average, according to CNN.

Historically and geographically, a Michigan case of the bubonic plague is highly unusual because the majority of cases in the U.S. have occurred in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and nearby Western and Southwestern states.

The MDHHS announced that the woman most likely contracted the plague after her recent travels to an area of Colorado that is currently affected by the disease, according to CBS Detroit.

“This is not something that is naturally occurring in the state or something that a resident should be worried about contracting,” said MDHHS member Jennifer Smith. “The individual is a Marquette County resident and is expected to make a full recovery. They are not currently hospitalized, they are at home and doing well.”

Although a teenager and adult in Colorado died from the bubonic plague this year, officials are working to reassure the public that the U.S. will not experience the massive fatalities that Europe suffered from the Black Death plague in the 1300s, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“It’s same organism but, in this case, the infection resides in a lymph node,” said Dr. Terry Frankovich, the medical director for the Marquette County Health Department. “Theoretically, the illness can move to bloodstream or to a lung infection, but this [Michigan] individual had localized infection, so there’s no concern about transmission.”

If the bacteria infect a victims’ lungs, they can develop the deadly pneumonic plague and the bacteria can then be transmitted from person to person through droplets, with initial symptoms developing seven to 10 days after exposure, according to CBS Detroit. General symptoms to look out for include swollen lymph nodes, fevers, headaches, chills, and muscle fatigue.

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A Michigan resident has come down with the bubonic plague, making her the first person from the state to ever contract the illness, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday.
michigan, bubonic, plague, illness, contract
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2015-57-15
Tuesday, 15 Sep 2015 01:57 PM
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