Just over a week after an extremely creepy and mysterious video featuring a character wearing a Plague Doctor costume riveted the internet, the New York Post reported that an Oregon teen had come down with the Bubonic plague. These things are not related in any way, but Halloween falls on Saturday so it's natural to connect things that give off a vague sense of doom.
As it is, the unnamed 16-year-old girl may have acquired the plague the old-fashioned way: through a flea bite received during a hunting trip. As reported by Portland's Fox 12, it appears as though the infection hasn't spread:
Nobody else is believed to have been infected, according to the Oregon Health Authority. There have only been eight human cases diagnosed of bubonic plague since 1995, and no deaths have been reported in connection to the disease in that time.
There haven't been any deaths because the Black Death—which decimated the population of Medieval Europe in a series of epidemics, killing millions—is easily treatable now through antibiotics.
Residents of the western U.S. still need to exercise caution, however. Easily treated as it is, the plague has still mostly been found in the west, according to statistics gathered by the CDC for the period between 1970 and 2012.
It's good to know the Oregon victim will be okay, and to be reminded the plague is a relatively minor problem for the modern medical establishment. Now we'll only have a close approach by a Halloween asteroid to worry about.
Photos by Public-Domain-Image.com