Plague suspected in death of New Mexico resident

Courtesy of the CDC
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) said on Friday that it is investigating a possible case of pneumonic plague in Santa Fe.

The agency said a 52-year-old woman died from an illness that could be the state's first plague case this year. It said confirmatory testing is currently being conducted. Plague bacteria are normally transmitted via fleas and ticks that had been in contact with infected rodents. It also is possible to contract the illness from direct contact with wildlife. The department said citizens should avoid sick or dead animals, specifically rabbits and rodents, and their nests should also be left alone. It also suggests that pets should not be allowed to roam and hunt freely, and that pet owners should see their veterinarian regarding tick and flea prevention. Food and water bowls should also be kept out of reach of wild animals.

The agency also warns that residents should keep hay, wood and compost material away from the house.

Residents should visit their doctor or veterinarian if fever, chills, weakness and headache occur. For cats and dogs, be aware of fever, lethargy, loss of appetite and swelling of the lymph nodes under their jaws. In humans, swelling can occur in the lymph nodes of the armpit, neck and groin areas.

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New Mexico Department of Health

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