Plague Confirmed in Oregon Man Bitten by Stray Cat
The unidentified Prineville, Ore., man was in critical condition on Friday. He is suffering from a blood-borne version of the disease that wiped out at least one-third of Europe in the 14th century — that one, the bubonic plague, affects lymph nodes.
There is an average of seven human plague cases in the U.S. each year. A map maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that most cases since the 1970s have been in the West, primarily the southwest.
Central Oregon health officials don't blame the cat.
"The reality is that, in rural areas, part of the role of cats is to keep the rodent population controlled around our homes and barns" said Karen Yeargain of the Crook County Health Department.
This article says it isn't clear whether the cat or the mouse bit the man:
The Black Death Returns: Oregon Man in Critical Condition with the Plague
The unidentified Oregonian, in his 50s, fell ill from the disease on June 2 when he tried to grab a mouse away from a cat. It is unclear which of those two animals bit his hand.