Girl with Bubonic Plague Goes to the Zoo

A Colorado girl named Sierra Jane Downing is out of the hospital after overcoming a bout of squirrel-borne bubonic plague—the first case in the state in six years. Upon being released, Sierra headed straight to the zoo (where, presumably, she stayed away from the pestilent rodent exhibit).

The 7-year-old's description of contracting the plague is equal parts disturbing and adorable:

"I got bubonic plague," Sierra said. "It was from a dead squirrel. My sweater was near it."

Her mom deduced later that fleas from the squirrel carcass must have jumped on Sierra's sweater.

..."First I was really, really cold (and) then hotter and hotter and hotter," Sierra said.

Hospital doctors said Sierra's fever was as high as they ever had seen.

Jeesh. As someone who still bears the scars of a childhood squirrel attack (no joke—it mistook my hand for a bundle of tasty nuts), this story only hardens my resolve: These sinister creatures are not to be trifled with, in life or in death! Woebetide any who leave their sweaters unattended near a squirrel!

But seriously though, speedy recovery, Sierra. Way to kick that bubonic fever's ass.

Photo credit: EcoPic / Stockfresh.

Colorado girl visits zoo after surviving bubonic plague [USAToday]