Published January 13, 2015
The Wyoming Department of Health is investigating how a Boy Scout who visited northwest Wyoming became infected with bubonic plague.
The 18-year-old was hospitalized but is recovering. The young man is from Connecticut. His identity and hometown haven't been released.
The teen spent time in Yellowstone National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and other sites within Teton County between July 26 and Aug. 3, the Jackson Hole Daily reported.
He became ill the second week of August and spent a week in a hospital, where he was diagnosed with the plague, Randall Nelson, state veterinarian for the Connecticut Department of Public Health, told the newspaper.
The teen's symptoms included fever, malaise and a large swelling on the left side of his neck in the lymph node and parotid gland, he said. He was treated with antibiotics and has recovered.
Health officials haven't been able to confirm the young man contracted bubonic plague in Wyoming. If he did, it would be the first plague case in a human in Wyoming since 2004. Wyoming has had only five confirmed plague cases since 1978.
He was among hundreds of Scouts who built trails and did other service work near Jackson late last month.
Bubonic plague causes swelling of the lymph glands along with fever, headache and exhaustion. The disease is spread by rodents, rabbits and fleas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.