A Chinese woman visits the ruins of the yellow-rat breeding room at a Japanese germ warfare centre located south of the north-east Chinese city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, April 24, 2005. China will seek UNESCO World Heritage protection for the ruins of the Japanese germ warfare centre called "Unit 731" during World War Two. The laboratories, prisons and crematoria were notorious for experiments on humans to develop germ weapons, such as bubonic plague, typhoid, anthrax and cholera. (Photo : Reuters)
A young Colorado girl who was infected with the bubonic plague in August was finally released from a Denver hospital on Monday, CBS reported. Seven-year-old Sierra Jane Downing of Pagosa Springs, Colo. was reportedly infected after coming in contact with a dead squirrel while she was camping with her family.
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Downing's father, Sean Downing, took her to the hospital in her hometown after the young girl had a seizure and 107-degree fever. Doctors there could not figure out the child's illness and she was eventually flown to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver, CBS reported.
Darcy Downing, the girl's mother, told ABC News, "I thought, 'oh my gosh we're going to lose her.' I was very concerned."
There, doctors discovered Downing had the medieval-era disease and began treating her with antibiotics. The bubonic plague, once called the "black death," is contracted from infected fleas or other infected animals such as rodents, rabbits or pets.
The disease, which killed 25 million people in Europe during the 1300-1400, affects an average of seven people in the U.S. yearly. Symptoms include fever, chills, heachaches, vomiting, diarrhea and swollen lymph nodes, CBS reported.
During a press conference in Denver, Downing said, "I really am excited to see my sissies again." The seven-year-old also said that she couldn't wait to eat chicken nuggets at school, CBS reported.
According to CBS, Downing's mother told reporters she was "so thankful" that her daughter survived.
The young girl was the first human case of the bubonic plague confirmed in Colorado since 2006 but the second case this year. According to CBS News, a man in Oregon was diagnosed with the disease in June after being infected by his cat.
7-YEAR-OLD SIERRA JANE DOWNING RECOVERING FROM BUBONIC PLAGUE (VIDEO)