When you hear the term Bubonic Plague, ideas of a great pandemic from the past pops into mind. A plague that ran rampant throughout the eastern Roman Empire back in the mid 540’s A.D. It can be scary! It is! But it happens much more often, with the most recent account in July of 2020.

How common is it? According to Wikipedia, “Globally between 2010 and 2014, there were 3,248 documented cases, which resulted in 584 deaths.” So more common than not, and is something to not be taken lightly.

“2024 was a slow start… but here… we… go!” was a meme I just saw featuring Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Dark Knight, used in light of the news out of Oregon.


According to the Deschutes County Health Services, the first human case of bubonic plague in 8 years has been confirmed in Oregon.

The unidentified Oregon resident was treated in the earlier stages of the disease, so luckily the possibility of spread to the community is minimal. People in close contact with the infected patient were notified and given preventive treatments.

How Did The Oregon Resident Catch The Plague?

County Health Services believe the resident’s sickly cat was to blame. The bacteria came into contact with the resident’s lymph node and eventually lead to the bloodstream. The cat had draining abscesses which were very susceptible to infections. Humans can also catch the disease from animals through flea bites.

Premiere Of Warner Bros. "Cats And Dogs 2" - Arrivals
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According to the CDC, roughly seven cases of the plague are reported each year, usually in northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, California, Southern Oregon, Western Nevada and Southern Colorado.


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