In 2002, Lucinda Marker and her husband, John Tull, came down with the Bubonic Plague—the same bacterial infection that killed about one-third of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages.

Today, the plague is rare in the U.S., only a handful catch it each year and it’s mostly found in Southwestern states like where Lucinda and John live.

They were bitten by fleas infected with plague near their home in New Mexico, and fell ill while vacationing in New York City.

Originally aired March 22, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition.