New Mexico Teen Gets Plague
It's the first US case of 2013
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 16, 2013 3:17 AM CDT
Fleas can transmit plague to humans.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Not long ago, authorities detected plague in a California squirrel; now, New Mexico is home to the country's first human case of 2013. Typically, about seven Americans get the bacterial illness each year, and in this first instance, the afflicted is a 15-year-old boy. People usually contract it via flea bites, the Los Angeles Times notes, though the disease can occur through contact with other animals.

New Mexico health officials are looking into whether anyone close to the boy might have contracted it. Plague can kill, but antibiotics are generally effective in fighting the disease, which can include fever, headaches, and painfully swollen glands. There hasn't been an urban plague epidemic stateside since 1925, the Times notes. KOB adds that New Mexico has seen nine human plague cases since 2009, one of which was fatal.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Aug 16, 2013 8:24 AM CDT
That is one handsome critter. I wonder if they make good pets.
Aug 16, 2013 6:59 AM CDT
This requires careful watching. No matter the type, this disease has the potential to spread explosively. If fleas carrying the organism get loose in a dog or cat show, of it the pneumonic version gets loose in a convention, prison, university dorm, or private boarding school there will be Hell to pay.
Aug 16, 2013 6:57 AM CDT
If NAMVET is any indication we have a plague of ignorance.