2006/04/18

Black Death hits L.A.


Los Angeles doctors are dealing with their first case of bubonic plague in the county for more than 20 years.
An unnamed patient was hit with symptoms of the Black Death last week and remains hospitalized, health officials announced today.
Crews are now working around the woman's home somewhere in the
Country Club Park neighborhood, setting traps to catch any infected rodents.
"Bubonic plague is not usually transmissible from person to person," Los Angeles public-health chief
Dr. Jonathan Fielding told NBC 4.
"Fortunately, human plague infection is rare in urban environments, and this single case should not be a cause for alarm in the area where this occurred."
Bubonic plague shot across Asia and Europe in several waves during the Middle Ages.
The first great European epidemic in the 1300s wiped out
one-third of the continent's population -- more than 25 million people.
Many small animals in the Angeles National Forest are struck by the plague, health experts said. But the woman currently being treated lives right in the middle of town, nowhere near the forest.
The disease usually jumps to humans through flea bites. Infected humans can then easily transmit the disease to other people.

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