Three people diagnosed with the plague in New Mexico

Posted June 28, 2017

The New Mexico Department of Health reported that two women, ages 52 and 62, from Santa Fe County were diagnosed with plague.

Two cases of plague have been reported in New Mexico, bringing the total for the state in 2017 up to three.

The latest patients followed the first confirmed case of the plague, which occurred in June.

None of the cases reported have proved fatal thus far, but all three patients have been hospitalized. There have been no deaths.

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Health officials are investigating the patients' home to make sure there are no ongoing threats to other residents. However, it can be treated with antibiotics.

Plague can be transmitted through contact with pets and rodents, though it is usually transmitted by flea bite.

According to the CDC, people can avoid contracting the plague by avoiding rodent habitat around their homes, treating pets for fleas, and having bug spray when camping or traveling to areas swamped with bugs and fleas. Symptoms of plague include fever, chills, headache, weakness, and painful swollen lymph nodes.

In 2016, New Mexico had four human cases with no fatalities. "Keeping your pets at home or on a leash and using an appropriate flea control product is important to protect you and your family".

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Sick pets, especially those that are lethargic and lacking appetite, should be seen by a veterinarian immediately, the Department of Health said. There are also an average of seven cases of the bubonic plague recorded in the US each year.

In 2015, there was an increase in USA cases, with 16 reported and four deaths recorded.

Her death was one of four to occur in 2015 nationwide from plague.

Bubonic is the most known well known form of plague, as it is associated with an epidemic known as the Black Plague, in which millions of people died in Europe in the 1300s. The first case was reported in the U.S.in the 1900s, killing almost 200 people in 1907.

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