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Michigan resident diagosed with bubonic plague

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A Michigan resident has been diagnosed with the plague.

The unidentified Marquette County resident recently traveled to Colorado, where bubonic plague had been active.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says plague does not naturally occur in Michigan, and this is the first ever report of plague in a resident of Michigan.

Plague is a rare, life-threatening, flea-borne illness.  The bacteria occur in nature among wild rodents and their fleas in rural and semi-rural areas of the western United States.

“People who are traveling and recreating outdoors in the western U.S. should be aware of the risk for exposure to plague,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive for MDHHS.

This is the 14th case in the U.S. this year.  Four people have died of plague so far this year.

The Michigan patient is recovering.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.