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US Cases of Dangerous 'Rabbit Fever' Are Spiking

It's spread to people through contact with infected animals, ticks

(Newser) - A disease thought to have the potential for use in biological warfare is on the rise in the US. The CDC warns that the rare bacterial disease "rabbit fever," or tularemia—spread by ticks and rabbits—has turned up in 100 people across four states as of Sept....

Oregon Teen Is Latest Plague Victim

That brings the total to 16 cases in the US this year

(Newser) - A teen in Oregon is the 16th person in the US to contract the bubonic plague this year. The girl fell ill on Oct. 21 while on a hunting trip in Morrow County and was hospitalized a few days later, officials say, adding she likely acquired the infectious disease "...

Plague Found in 5K-Year-Old Human Skeleton

That's 3K years earlier than scientists knew the disease even existed

(Newser) - The plague is apparently a lot older than we thought. Scientists says the disease was responsible for a massive migration of people across Europe and Asia during the Bronze Age—approximately 3,000 years earlier than it was believed to have existed, according to a study published Thursday in Cell ...

Utah Man Is 4th Plague Death in US This Year

He may have contracted disease from prairie dogs: officials

(Newser) - A Utah man in his 70s has died after contracting the plague, bringing to four the number of deaths from the disease reported in the United States this year, health officials said today. Officials are still trying to determine how the Utah person contracted the disease, but believe it might...

2nd Yosemite Plague Case Investigated

Campground closed so rodent burrows can be wiped out

(Newser) - California health officials are investigating another possible case of plague in a tourist from Georgia who fell ill after visiting Yosemite National Park, the second case in less than a month. The California Department of Public Health says "the presumptive positive case" of plague occurred in a patient who...

Child Camping at Yosemite Gets the Plague

It's California's first case since 2006

(Newser) - Scary news from Yosemite National Park: A child who was on a family camping trip in the national park in mid-July contracted California's first case of plague since 2006, the state's Department of Public Health says in a press release . The department says the child, who visited Stanislaus...

Colorado Already Has 2 Plague Deaths This Summer

Officials believe the victims were infected by fleas

(Newser) - A Colorado resident died of the plague Tuesday, likely after being infected by fleas from a dead animal. The unidentified adult becomes the second person to die from the infamous disease this year. A 16-year-old star baseball player died of the plague in June. Both victims likely had a rare...

Baseball-Loving Teen Killed by the Plague

Taylor Thomas Gaes contracted rare strain of the disease

(Newser) - A high school pitcher in perfect health—and with good college baseball prospects—came down with flu-like symptoms recently and shocked his community by dying of the plague on June 8, the Denver Post reports. Now friends and family in Larimer County, Colorado, are grappling with the unexpected passing of...

In US First, Dog Infects People With the Plague

The dog didn't make it, but all 4 humans recovered

(Newser) - It may have ended the lives of 25 million people in a single year in the sixth century, but the plague—caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis—is exceedingly rare in the US, infecting about seven people a year, per the CDC . But in what officials tell ABC News is...

Mass Grave Found Under Paris Supermarket

'We expected it to have a few bones,' says Monoprix manager

(Newser) - Good thing shoppers didn't know about this: Archaeologists digging under a Paris supermarket have found more than 200 skeletons, most of them buried neatly in a mass grave, France 24 reports. Management at the Monoprix supermarket wanted the basement cleared for redevelopment, but little did they know: "We...

True Root of Black Death: Giant Gerbils?

Climate fluctuations suggest the plague entered European harbors from Asia

(Newser) - Much-maligned black rats and their fleas have long been blamed for spreading the Black Death that claimed millions of lives in Europe over the course of a few hundred years, but scientists now have a new critter they think was at fault. By studying tree rings to learn about precise...

American Gets Deadliest Form of Rare Plague

Colorado case likely started with dead dog, officials say

(Newser) - The rarest and deadliest form of plague has infected a man in Colorado, but so far officials only say that he's being treated—and may have contracted the disease from his dog, Bloomberg reports. "He’s on treatment long enough to not be transmissible," says a spokeswoman...

&#39;End of the World&#39; Plague Remains Found in Egypt

 'End of the World' 
 Plague Victims 
 Found in Egypt 
in case you missed it

'End of the World' Plague Victims Found in Egypt

Likely measles or smallpox, it struck one writer as apocalyptic

(Newser) - Saint Cyprian described it in the third century AD as a plague that signaled the end of the world—and archaeologists have now uncovered its remnants in Egypt. An Italian team has published the results of its 15 years of research in ancient Thebes (today, Luxor), where a funerary complex...

Black Death &#39;Revelation&#39; Is Totally Bogus
 Black Death 
 'Revelation' Is 
 Totally Bogus 
Bad Science Dept.

Black Death 'Revelation' Is Totally Bogus

The plague was bubonic, and rats were involved

(Newser) - This week you may have seen stories from news sites like this one touting "new findings" about the Black Death, suggesting that it was not a bubonic plague spread by fleas on rats, but a pneumonic one spread via human coughing. Almost all these stories are sourced from this...

Plague, Black Death Were Different, and That's Bad News

A new strain could rise up that's just as deadly: scientists

(Newser) - The Plague of Justinian and the Black Death arose from separate bacteria strains, researchers say—and that's not a good thing, because if distinct plagues have ravaged the human population before, they could come up again, LiveScience reports. A group of researchers came to this conclusion by digging up...

'Plague-Like' Facebook to Lose 80% of Users by 2017

Site will be abandoned as 'immunity' builds

(Newser) - Facebook has spread like an infectious disease but its dominance of social media is doomed and 80% of its user base will probably drift away over the next three years, according to researchers who compared the growth of social media to the spread of epidemics. The Princeton researchers based their...

New Mexico Teen Gets Plague
 New Mexico Teen Gets Plague 

New Mexico Teen Gets Plague

It's the first US case of 2013

(Newser) - Not long ago, authorities detected plague in a California squirrel ; now, New Mexico is home to the country's first human case of 2013. Typically, about seven Americans get the bacterial illness each year, and in this first instance, the afflicted is a 15-year-old boy. People usually contract it via...

Plague-Infected Squirrel Closes Calif. Campgrounds

Experts fear spread via fleas

(Newser) - A plague threat has shut down campgrounds around Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. A ground squirrel in the area was found to have the plague, which can be transmitted to humans through fleas, a health official says. "It is important for the public to know that there...

30M Locusts Swarm Egypt
 30M Locusts Swarm Egypt 

30M Locusts Swarm Egypt

Gov't says it has most of outbreak near Cairo under control

(Newser) - Cue the locusts: Some 30 million of the insects descended on Egypt over the weekend, in a development that had the country's agricultural ministry scrambling to deploy insecticide-spraying helicopters to contain the outbreak. The main swarm appears to be centered around Giza, near southern Cairo, where Ynet reports that...

Oregon Man Hit With Plague Could Lose Fingers

Paul Gaylord contracted rare disease from cat bite

(Newser) - One look at Paul Gaylord's hands shows why the plague is referred to as "Black Death." The 59-year-old contracted the plague after trying to take a mouse from the jaws of a choking cat, which then bit him. Now the Oregon welder's once-strong hands have been...

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