According to a report on CNN.com, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that a person in that state has been diagnosed with the bubonic plague.
The affected person is a resident of Northern Michigan, in Marquette County, along Lake Superior, and they recently returned from being in Colorado, in an area with reported plague activity.
While most people think of the black plague as something living only in the distant past, the deadly disease killed a teenager from Larimer County in Colorado earlier this year, and there have now been a total of 14 reported cases in the USA in 2015.
Do you need to worry? Maybe yes, if you live in one of certain endemic areas, and maybe no if you don’t.
But given the very low level of cases, likely not.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 1970 and 2012, the majority of human plague cases have been in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Other cases have been in nearby Western and Southwestern states.
How do you get it? Flea bites. The bacterium causing the black plague can be carried by infected fleas living on a range of rodents, including rats, ground squirrels and prairie dogs and also on pets such as cats and dogs.
It is transmitted to people through bites from these insects and rarely, it’s transmitted directly from infected pets or rodents.