Public health officials said Wednesday that initial tests have identified a case of plague in Georgia.
A Department of Public Health spokeswoman told GHN that tests by the state show an individual in Georgia has the disease. CDC testing results have not yet been completed.
The patient has the bubonic version of the plague, which is less transmissible than the pneumonic version, said the spokeswoman, Nancy Nydam.
The individual, whose name has not been released, returned to Georgia last week from hiking in California and then became sick, Nydam said. The patient has been hospitalized and treated with antibiotics, and may be released from the hospital Wednesday.
Health officials say the patient will fully recover, but that there may be lingering symptoms for a few days.
The CDC is also investigating the case.
Plague, an infectious bacterial disease, is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages, when its cause was unknown and unsanitary conditions sometimes allowed it to spread uncontrollably. But plague is now well understood, public health practices have greatly limited its spread, and modern antibiotics are effective in treating it.
The disease first arrived in the United States in 1900. From then to 2012, more than 1,000 confirmed or probable human plague cases occurred across the nation, but there has never been a recorded case of human plague in Georgia.
Currently, there is an investigation into plague-infected animals in Yosemite National Park, Sierra National Forest and surrounding areas in California where hiking is common.
One human case of plague already had been confirmed in the Golden State.
NBC News reported Tuesday that a second person in California – a visitor from Georgia – got tested after hearing that parts of Yosemite had been closed to spray pesticides to kill fleas that carry the infection.
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