An Oregon man is recovering from a case of the plague after he was bitten by a stray cat, Ben Quinn of the Guardian reports. Last month Paul Gaylord, a welder from Prineville, Oregon, contracted theYersinia pestis bacterium that wiped out about a third of the European population in the Middle Ages when he attempted to dislodge a dead mouse that was choking a stray cat and the cat bit him.
The disease – which can develop into the bubonic, septicaemic or pneumonic plague – is now rare and treatable with antibiotics but can still be fatal. Gaylord was on life support for nearly a month and his wife told the Guardian that at one point doctors thought he would die.
Photos of Gaylord recovering show him with blackened hands that are withered by the cell-killing infection. Gaylord told the AP that he was going to lose all of the fingers on both hands and he may lose his thumbs and toes.
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