The bubonic plague has resurfaced in California for the first time in five years, with a resident of the state testing positive for the infamous disease after walking their dog through the woods, according to ABC News.
Officials in El Dorado County confirmed that the person in question, a resident of South Lake Tahoe, tested positive after walking their dog along the Truckee River Corridor. Officials believe that the person may have been bitten by a flea that was already carrying the disease, which is also known as the black plague. Since being diagnosed, the patient has been recovering in their home under the care of medical professionals.
El Dorado’s Health and Human Services confirmed that symptoms of the disease can be detected within two weeks after first contact; among these symptoms are “fever, nausea, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes.” Despite the disease’s deadly reputation, officials confirmed that it can be treated effectively with the use of antibiotics if it is detected early enough.
The bubonic plague is most well-known for its spread across Medieval Europe in the mid-1300s, where, due to very little and very poor medical care available to most Europeans at the time, it spread like wildfire and killed off roughly half of the European population. Although exact figures remain unknown, it is believed to have taken the lives of anywhere from 75 million to 200 million before the plague finally ran its course.