Idaho child diagnosed with plague

Maricruz Casares
Junio 13, 2018

An unidentified child in Idaho is recovering after receiving treatment for the plague.

The Central District Health Department said the diagnosis was confirmed this week.

A child in Idaho came down with the plague recently, according to a statement by Idaho's Central District Health. The CDC states that those with bubonic plague may also experience swollen lymph nodes and that those with pneumonic plague may experience pneumonia along with chest pain, coughing and trouble breathing.

The health department reminds southern Idaho recreationists that plague is risky to people and pets and for people to be aware of what to look for when in the Idaho outdoors.

Central District Health Department epidemiologist Sarah Correll says the disease is spread to humans through a bite from an infected flea.

You can reduce your risk of becoming infected with plague by avoiding contact with wild rodents, their fleas and rodent carcasses.

Common symptoms of plague in humans include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and weakness.

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Wear gloves if you are handling or skinning potentially infected animals to prevent contact between your skin and the plague bacteria. No one should feed rodents in parks and picnic or campground areas, and people should never handle sick or dead rodents.

Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product on pets.

Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian, especially if they may have had contact with sick or dead rodents in the desert areas south and east of Boise.

Don't leave pet food and water where rodents or other wild animals can access them. Plague symptoms in cats and dogs are fever, lethargy and loss of appetite, with possible swelling in the lymph node under the jaw.

Plague can be a very severe disease in people, with a fatality rate of up to 60 percent.

People that may have been exposed to the plague by being within about six feet of a person or animal who has contracted the infection, can also take preventive antibiotics. Prior to this case, the last two cases reported in Idaho occurred in 1991 and 1992, with both patients fully recovering. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague but without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death.

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