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John Tull, survivor of the bubonic plague, died Wednesday

By Amanda Stewart,

Many remember in 2002 when John Tull became the first person in New York to be diagnosed with the bubonic plague in more than 100 years. Tull died Wednesday from an unrelated illness.

He was 65 when he died in a hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports that Tull was diagnosed with a rare cancer last month. Doctors do not think that the cancer and the illness he experienced in 2002 were in anyway related.

Tull and his wife, Lucinda Marker, were in New York City when they both became ill with flu-like symptoms in November 2002. They were diagnosed with the Black Plague, which wiped out most of Europe in the 14th century. Marker recovered in days while Tull was hospitalized for more than two months.

Tull fell into a coma and both of his feet had to be amputated due to the illness.

With the 9/11 terror attacks happening so closely to the diagnosis, many thought it may have been a bioterror attack. Doctors say that it was likely that Tull contracted the plague in his hometown in New Mexico, according to Daily Mail. There had been dozens of cases of the plague there in the last 50 years.

Around seven bubonic plague cases occur in the U.S. each year and between 1,000 and 2,000 cases are reported worldwide. New Mexico seems to have the most people diagnosed each year.

 

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