David Pratt – Dark Ages come again: an unnamed Michigan adult is recovering from the state’s first ever confirmed case of bubonic plague, health officials said Monday.
The Marquette County resident recently returned from an area of Colorado with reported plague activity. Two people in Colorado have already died of the plague this year. State health officials said there is no cause for concern over human-to-human contact of the flea-born illness that killed an estimated 75 to 200 million Europeans and Asians in the 14th Century.
The Michigan case is the 14th incident of the Black Death reported nationwide this year, more than four times the typical annual average. Most recently, in August, a Utah resident died from bubonic plague.
The Black Death originated in Central Asia and was carried along trade routes and on merchant ships by flea infested rats The bubonic plague is estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe’s total population in the 14th Century. The plague was introduced to the United States in 1900 by rat–infested steamships that had sailed from affected areas, mostly in Asia.