Elmore County child recovering from plague

14 Juin, 2018, 06:55 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Plague bacteria Yersinia pestis.                        Getty Images

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

Plague is spread by fleas that carry the Yersinia pestis bacteria, which can cause the three forms of plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic.

A child in Elmore County, Idaho, is recovering after getting infected from plague, CBS affiliate KBOI reports.

It is still unclear whether the child in Elmore County was exposed to the disease in Idaho or during a recent trip to or, according to the Central District Health Department.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare issued a news release Tuesday afternoon saying the child is recovering from the bacterial disease. The symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, and headache, followed by very painful and swollen lymph nodes, referred to as "buboes".

"People can decrease their risk by treating their pets for fleas and avoiding contact with wildlife", CDHD epidemiologist Sarah Correll said in a statement. "Since 1990, eight human cases were confirmed in OR and two were confirmed in Idaho".

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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.

While plague in humans is rare, experts say it occurs naturally in some rodent populations, including ground squirrels in Idaho.

Further, the Center for Disease Control noted other preventative measures include wearing gloves when handling animals that could be infected, and preventing pets from sleeping in the same bed as humans.

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. Other animals, like rats, rabbits and chipmunks can then become infected when fleas move on from an infected animal. "If they get on another rodent that they can live on, then they've been successful".

In the 1400s, approximately 50 million people died of the Black Death. It's mostly transmitted through rodents and fleas, but humans can also be infected, too. Plague is still one of the scarier infectious diseases out there, with a mortality rate between 30% and 60% if untreated. Between 2010 and 2015, there were around 584 plague deaths around the world.

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