Almost seven centuries after the Black Death struck Europe, the plague is still lurking. This summer, there have been eleven confirmed infections by Yersinia pestis, the scientific name for the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague, and three of these infections have been fatal. Although it may seem strange, plague is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is particularly centered in the American West, and though reports are rare, it is normal to have a few cases every year. This year, there have been 11 cases since April, which is an increase over the typical number, prompting the CDC to issue a statement asking people to be aware.
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