Bubonic plague which leaves victims vomiting blood kills one as experts issue warning | The Sun
A PERSON in the US has died from bubonic plague, health officials have confirmed.
The unnamed victim was Colorado's second case of the deadly medieval disease this year.
The first unnamed case died in June 2023.
Health officials are now investigating the home and family of the person that died of the rare infection.
It is not yet known how the pair – who lived hundreds of miles apart – managed to contract the disease often associated with the “Black Death” epidemic that killed millions in medieval Europe.
Plague is a severe bacterial infection which spreads to humans, mainly by the bite of infected fleas, or from having close contact with infected animals or people.
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Tiffany Switzer, of the Juan Basin Public Health, who are investigating the case, said: “While this disease is very rare, it is important to be aware of how you can be exposed and the symptoms it can cause.
"If you think you have symptoms consistent with plague, seek health care immediately and let them know you may have been exposed.”
Sufferers will develop abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting and some people will bleed from their mouths, noses or rectums.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates there are between 1,000 and 2,000 cases of plague around the world every year.
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The disease is easily treatable with modern medicine – but left untreated, most infected will die within a week.
In the 14th Century the black death – a collection of plagues including bubonic plague – tore through the globe making it the most deadly recorded pandemic in history.
It killed 200 million people across Africa, Asia and Europe wiping out 60 per cent of Europe's population in its path.
Though many believe the medieval disease is long gone, countries around the world still suffer deadly outbreaks of the bubonic plague due to animals carrying the bacteria.
The plague has been reported in the United States, Peru, China, Bolivia, Uganda, Tanzania and Russia.
NHS Fit to Travel advises travellers visiting Colorado to practice use insect repellents when near nature, avoid any close contact with sick or dead animals and crowded areas in regions where plague has recently been reported.
History of the Black Death
The Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague which struck Europe and Asia in the 1300s.
It killed more than 20 million people in Europe.
Scientists now know that the plague was spread by a bacillus known as yersina pestis.
The bacteria can travel through the air as well as through the bites of infected fleas and rats.
Bubonic plague can cause swelling of the lymph notes. If untreated it could spread to the blood and lungs.
Other symptoms included fever, vomiting and chills.
Physicians relied on treatments such as boil-lancing to bathing in vinegar as they tried to treat people with the plague.
Some believed that the Black Death was a "divine punishment" – a form of retribution for sins against God.
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