Health officials have confirmed that an Oregon man has the "Black Death" plague after he was bitten while trying to take a dead mouse from the mouth of a stray cat.

Officials on Friday said that the unidentified man, who is in his 50s, is still in critical condition and is suffering from a blood born version of the infamous bubonic plague, which affects lymph nodes and killed around 75 million people or a third of the population when it spread throughout Europe in the 14th century.

Its victims usually were left with darkened, rotted tissue around their noses, lips, fingers and toes.

The CDC reported that there are about 1,000 to 3,000 cases every year worldwide.

The man is believed to be the fifth person in Oregon to catch the plague since 1995.

State public health veterinarian Dr. Emilio DeBess said that the man was infected by the stray cat his family befriended.

The cat's body had been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.

"The reality is that, in rural areas, part of the role of cats is to keep the rodent population controlled around our homes and barns," said Karen Yeargain of the Crook County Health Department, according to Associated Press.

DeBess has also collected blood samples from two dogs and another cat that lives with the man's family to determine whether the area has a plague problem.

The man is currently being treated with antibiotics, and people who had been in contact with the sick man have been notified and are receiving preventative antibiotics.