UPDATE: Health district says Pneumonic Plague tests come back ne - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Health district says Pneumonic Plague tests come back negative

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KENNEWICK, WA- The Benton-Franklin Health District says tests came back negative after a local resident got tested for a possible case of the Pneumonic Plague.

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KENNEWICK, WA. -- The Benton-Franklin Health District is investigating a possible case of the plague.

The important thing to point out, the Benton-Franklin Health District is investigating a case of possible pneumonic plague, not bubonic plague. To explain the differences, the pneumonic plague is in the lungs or blood while the bubonic plague produces sores on the skin and is infamously known as the Black Death for killing tens of millions of people in the 14th century. 

We talked to Heather Hill from the Benton-Franklin Health District on the phone. She said they'll know if this is a true case of the plague or not by Saturday. 

"Most people do hear the word plague and they do panic but this is a situation where we don't know the result yet," Hill said. "We will know in the next 24 hours for sure and it's not an organism that's floating around out there and posing a risk for the general public."

The last case of the plague in Washington was recorded in 1984 on a hunter. The pneumonic plague lives in fleas who are found on rodents. The health district urges people to never touch dead animals, especially rats. 

Make sure you eliminate nesting places for rodents around your home as well. The good news is, if found quickly, pneumonic plague can be treated with antibiotics. 
 

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