The death of Taylor Gaes, a 16-year-old teen in Colorado, sheds light on a monster most mistakenly believe is long since gone – the plague. True, the last case of anyone contracting the disease in Larimer County occurred in 1999, but the reality is the plague remains a threat even in this day and age of medical enlightenment. In fact, approximately seven cases of plague victims a year are reported across the United States. Bruce Levenson knows that, while certainly not a reason to panic, those statistics are enough cause for people to educate themselves and engage in a little preventative medicine.
The Bubonic plague is the culprit the majority of people (approximately 80% of all cases) contract, most usually from an infected feline, rodent or flea. Fortunately, the disease is easily treated – when diagnosed early enough. The problem is the symptoms are similar to the flu, including swollen lymph nodes, severe headache and a sudden fever. Pneumonic plague, caused when one inhales the bacteria, and Septicemic plague, caused when the disease spreads throughout the body via the bloodstream, are far less common. A bit of good news considering neither forms are easily diagnosed and both are more difficult to treat according to MSN.
In the end, prevention is the safest route where any form of the plague is concerned. Fortunately, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way and the CDC website is ready to arm everybody.