Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Idaho boy diagnosed with the PLAGUE, health officials reveal

Idaho boy diagnosed with the PLAGUE, health officials reveal

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

The child - from Elmore County, located between Twin Falls and Boise - is only the fifth person to be infected with the bacterial disease in Idaho since 1940, the Idaho State Journalreported. The disease can spread between other animals through fleas and the humans can also get infected with it on coming in contact with the infected fleas or animals.

As for plague cases in Idaho, there have been only two confirmed plague cases since 1990.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the plague was first introduced in the U.S.in 1900 by rat-infested steamships.

Plague can be treated with antibiotics, and patients have a better chance of a full recovery if they seek treatment early.

In fact, every single year, the authorities register several plague cases across the United States.

A child in Idaho came down with the plague recently, according to a statement by Idaho's Central District Health.

"Plague has historically been found in wildlife in both states", a news release from the Central District Health Department said.

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Bubonic plague accounts for about 80 percent of plague cases in humans, and symptoms include fever, headache, chills, weakness or swollen lymph nodes.

Luckily, despite wiping out millions a few hundred years ago, the plague is incredibly treatable today, and preventable in most cases.

CDHD offers some of the ways to prevent infection: avoid touching, handling, and feeding rodents and their carcasses, keep pets from going off and hunting rodents, consult veterinarians for flea control, and don't feed or leave food for rodents.

Although globally people are still diagnosed with the disease, it's much more rare than it was in the 14th century, when a bubonic plague swept across Europe with a shockingly high death toll. No one should feed rodents in parks and picnic or campground areas, and people should never handle sick or dead rodents.

If you've been in a plague-endemic area and develop sudden and severe fever, consult a doctor.

- Reduce rodent habitat around your home, workplace and recreational areas.

Rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, bloody or watery mucous.

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