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Scientist's death linked to bubonic plague

A University of Chicago Medical Center researcher was studying bacteria that cause bubonic plague.

September 20, 2009|Associated Press

CHICAGO — The University of Chicago Medical Center says the infection that killed a scientist may be connected to bacteria he researched that cause bubonic plague.

The university said Saturday that its researcher studied the genetics of harmful bacteria including Yersinia pestis, which causes the illness.

The researcher died Sept. 13. His name and age haven't been released.

The medical center says the bacteria he worked with were a weakened strain that isn't known to cause illness in healthy adults.

The strain was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for laboratory studies.

An autopsy found no obvious cause of death but did find the presence of the bacteria. More tests are planned. No other illnesses have been reported.

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