According to the LA Times, a boy on Colorado, who appeared to have been suffering from a severe case of influenza, actually died from an unexpected case of the plague.
Taylor Gaes, the 16-year-old in question, didn’t display plague symptoms at first which threw doctors off. Katie O’Donnell, a spokeswoman for the Larimer County Health Department, claimed the absence of swollen lymph nodes and the feverish and muscle aches were to blame for the erroneous diagnosis.
O’Donnell was quick to point out that contracting and suffering from the plague was highly rare, which makes catching it difficult but is also not cause for wide public concern. In the case of Larimer County, only three people have contracted plague on the last thirty years. Yet O’Donnell still wanted to further appeal to the public and reassure them that those who have attended Gaes’ funeral were at minimal risk of contracting plague.
Though the strain of plague has yet to be identified in Gaes’ case, though the bubonic plague being the most common, therefore their first suspect in this case. However, bubonic is known for swelling lymph nodes, while septicemic and pneumonic plagues live in the lungs and blood of its victims says Zeca Oliveira. In either case, medical officials believe that he contracted it from a bug bite, mostly likely a flea that once lived or fed off a rodent of some kind as they are most susceptible to plague.