Man hospitalized in NE Ore. with pneumonic plague

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PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- Health officials in northeast Oregon say a man has been hospitalized for treatment of pneumonic plague.

Umatilla County health officials said Friday the man is thought to have been infected while hunting in Lake County, Ore. County Public Health Administrator Genni Lehnert-Beers says the illness is serious but treatable with antibiotics if caught early.

She tells the Tri-City Herald (http://bit.ly/psCMFusays) that it can be spread to humans through the bite of an infected flea. The illness can also be contracted through contact with infected tissues or fluids from handling sick or dead animals.

Lehnert-Beers recommends that people stay away from flea-infested areas and learn to recognize plague symptoms, including fever, chills, headache, weakness, and bloody or watery cough. Other symptoms can include enlarged, tender lymph nodes, abdominal pain and bleeding into the skin.

Untreated plague can be fatal.