PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) Crook County health officials believe a man being treated at a Bend hospital probably has the plague.

The man in his 50s had contact with a sick stray cat. The disease can spread through contact with a sick animal or a bite from an infected flea.

Earlier reports said the diagnosis was bubonic plague. There are several varieties that can lead to a grave illness.

More: Oregon cat diagnosed with bubonic plague

A family member told KTVZ the man is in critical condition at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend.

Karen Yeargain of the Crook County Health Department says plague is treatable with antibiotics if caught early. She says people should use a flea treatment on pets to prevent them from bringing fleas into your home.

Plague is rare in Oregon. Only three human cases have been diagnosed statewide since 1995.

Photos: Worldwide cats

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