Officials: Boy Scout has bubonic plague

Aug. 27, 2008 at 12:20 PM
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MILFORD, Conn., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- An 18-year-old Boy Scout from Connecticut was diagnosed with the bubonic plague after his scout troop visited Wyoming, officials say.

Connecticut Yankee Council Scout executive Louis Salute said the unidentified scout had been bitten by a flea during a troupe outing last week to rural areas in Wyoming including Bridger-Teton National Forest, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant said Wednesday.

"It appears the boy was bitten by a flea," Salute said. "He came back here and got ill. He was running a pretty high fever."

After being taken to a hospital because of swelling of his neck and malaise, blood tests revealed the teenager was suffering from the bacterial disease.

Salute told the Courant said the disease, which most people commonly associate with the Black Death that decimated Europe six centuries ago, was caught in its first stage in the teen and wasn't considered contagious or potentially fatal.

The newspaper said Wyoming officials are investigating the rural areas for signs of the potentially deadly infection.

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