The Plague Is Back: Idaho Child Shows Symptoms of the Rare Disease

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Epidemiologists with the Central District Health Department said today it is not known whether the child was exposed to plague in Idaho or during a recent trip to Oregon.

Evidently. It's unknown whether the child - whose identity was not disclosed - contracted the disease in Idaho or in or while on a recent vacation.

It is most commonly transmitted through fleas, which contract the disease from rodents.

A child in Elmore County, Idaho, is recovering after being infected by the bubonic plague recently. "Since 1990, eight human cases were confirmed in OR and two were confirmed in Idaho".

The disease dates back to the Middle Ages, when it killed millions in a Europe, before the age of antibiotics.

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Now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague". "Without prompt treatment", however, "the disease can cause serious illness or death".

According to the most recent data, there were no deaths from plague in 2016, but four in 2015.

The child is the fifth human to have contracted plague in Idaho since the year 1940.

Actually, the U.S. health officials reported that there are approximately seven plague cases in the United States, annually, the majority of which are caused by rodents and flea bites or direct contact with infected animals. "Wear insect repellent, long trousers and socks when visiting plague affected areas".

To avoid rodents from settling near your home, clean up any areas that might be suitable for rodent nests, such as woodpiles and lots with tall grasses and weeds.

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CDC defines the plague as an infectious disease that affects rodents, certain animals, and humans.

Keep your pets from roaming and hunting voles or other rodents.

The one thing you should never do is feed rodents in parks or picnic and camping areas.

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.

The bubonic plague, which is one of the three types of plague, is often identified by its symptoms: headache, fever, chills, and swollen, tender, and painful lymph nodes called buboes. The last two reported cases occurred in 1991 and 1992, with both patients fully recovering.

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- Keep fleas off your pets by applying flea-control products. Cats with plague pneumonia can give it to people.

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