Oregon man suffering from the plague is in critical condition

An Oregon man is at death’s door in a hospital battling a rare case of the infamous “Black Death” plague, health officials said.

The unidentified man, who is in his 50s, was bitten on the hand while trying to pull a mouse away from a stray cat on June 2 and got sick several days later, doctors at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend told The Oregonian newspaper.

The man was thought to be suffering from septicemic plague — meaning the ruthless bacteria was spreading in his bloodstream — and was in critical condition on Tuesday, doctors said.

Karen Yeargain, the county health department’s communicable disease coordinator, told The Oregonian that officials were working to confirm that the man had the plague, but that all the symptoms were there, including stomach pain, bleeding mouth, nose and anus and dying tissue.

This is a micrograph of a blood smear containing Yersinia pestis plague bacteria.

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