06/09/2011 04:47 pm ET | Updated Nov 15, 2011

Cat Recovering From Bubonic Plague

An Oregon cat is recovering from the bubonic plague, central Oregon's KOHD reports. Emilio DeBess, D.V.M., M.P.V.M., an Oregon Public Health Division veterinarian, shed some light on the disease for the station:

"Plague is spread to humans through a bite from an infected flea. Using flea treatment on your pets is very important, because your pets can bring fleas into your home. Plague is serious but it is treatable with antibiotics if caught early."

According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), plague is rare in the state, with only three cases diagnosed since 1995. In the U.S. in general, the CDC receives reports of 1 to 40 cases annually.

DeBess maintains that people should be careful, but not paranoid.

"Plague is serious, but it is treatable with antibiotics if caught early."

Wearing insect repellant, keeping cats indoors and avoiding exposing skin in areas inhabited by lots of rodents are all ways to prevent flea bites, and possibly the plague.