[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 17, 1984

Human Bubonic Plague Transmitted by a Domestic Cat Scratch

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Field Services, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta (Dr Weniger); Office of Disease Monitoring and Control, Health Division, Oregon Department of Human Resources, Portland (Dr Weniger and Mr Warren); the Indian Health Service, Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Ore (Ms Forseth, Mr Shipps, and Drs Creelman and Gorton); and the Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Plague Branch, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC, Fort Collins, Colo (Dr Barnes).

JAMA. 1984;251(7):927-928. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340310041017

Bubonic plague was transmitted to a 10-year-old girl in Oregon by a scratch wound inflicted by a domestic cat. The cat probably was infected by contact with infected wild rodents or their fleas. Yersinia pestis was identified in Diamanus montanus fleas collected from an abandoned burrow near the patient's home. Domestic cats may infect humans with Y pestis by inoculation from a scratch.

(JAMA 1984;251:927-928)