Tuesday, 17 July, 2018


Officials confirm Idaho’s first human plague case since 1992

Credit PA Credit PA
Patty Aguilar | 14 June, 2018, 17:24

"The case serves as a reminder to recreationists in southern Idaho that plague is risky to people and pets, but with proper awareness, precautions, and prompt treatment when needed, plague should not discourage you from enjoying the Idaho outdoors".

There are a few cases every year in the United States and more in other parts of the world. People can greatly reduce their risk of becoming infected by taking simple precautions.

It is the first human case in the state since the early 1990s, and is believed to be the only one reported this year.

The Central District Health Department says it's unclear if the child was exposed to the disease in Idaho or during a recent trip to Oregon.

The Idaho Statesman Journal reports the child, from Elmore County, is recovering after receiving antibiotics. But fortunately, if it's caught early enough, it can be treated with antibiotics.

The most common type is the bubonic plague, which represents 80 to 95 percent of cases.

Plague has been found historically in wildlife in both states.

For just the fifth time since 1940, an Idaho resident has been diagnosed with the plague.

Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents that is transmitted through the bites of infected fleas and can cause serious illness to people and pets if not treated quickly. When a case does crop up in the U.S., disease detectives try to find every person an infected individual came into contact with. The symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, and headache, followed by very painful and swollen lymph nodes, referred to as "buboes".

According to the CDHD, plague among humans is rare but can be found in local ground squirrels and other rodents naturally.

In the USA, people can contract the plague when disposing of squirrels or mice that died from the infection or traveled to an area where infected animals live. This is important - when an animal dies from the plague, fleas leave the body and look for another host, which could be your pet, especially if it rolls in a carcass or eats it. "If they get on another rodent that they can live on, then they've been successful". It can also be transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected animals or their fleas.

It has resulted in the deaths of 75 to 200 million people in Europe and Asia centuries ago. Plague is still one of the scarier infectious diseases out there, with a mortality rate between 30% and 60% if untreated. In 2015, 16 cases of plague were reported and, in 2016, there were only 4 cases.

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