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New Mexico Boy Dies of Plague, Sister Recovering

New Mexico Boy Dies of Plague, Sister Recovering

Associated Press/AP Online

June 05, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An 8-year-old New Mexico boy has died and his 10-year-old sister was hospitalized after both contracted bubonic plague, the first recorded human plague cases in the nation so far this year.

New Mexico health officials did not immediately say Thursday how the brother and sister contracted the infectious disease, but they are conducting an investigation at the family’s residence to determine if there is any risk to other people.

Plague is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but also can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits and pets.

More Off-Beat Health News

Symptoms of the bubonic form of the plague in humans include fever, chills, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and swollen lymph nodes in the groin, armpit or neck areas. Pneumonic plague, which is an infection of the lungs, can include severe cough, difficulty breathing and bloody sputum.

The Health Department, citing privacy concerns, would not release the name of the siblings or give a location for their home, other than saying it was in Santa Fe County. Spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer said the boy died in the last couple of days but she declined to be more specific.

Fleas collected from the area are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. Health workers also canvassed the neighborhood to tell other residents that plague had been confirmed in the area.

The CDC says an average of 10 to 15 persons contract the plague each year in the United States. Modern antibiotics are an effective treatment.

© YellowBrix 2009


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  • Picture_021_max50

    angienwgeorgia

    over 5 years ago

    252 comments

    i remember back when I was doing home health, and was doing an admission visit with a new patient. I did the assessment and documented all her meds and I had to call the pharmacy because the patient was using a medication that I I was not familiar with. She told me it was an antibiotic. Well, when I left the patients house to get my chartwork done, I called the pharmacist back to ask what kind of organism was this antifiotic targeted for? She said 'THE PLAGUE'............LMAO. I scubbed down again at the Quick trip bathroom. At the patients house I washed my hands very thouroughly. before the nurse visit and before leaving, But when I spoke to the pharmacist and was told the patient had the plague, I felt...........'itchy'. Maybe its not just in out west because this was in Georgia. The admitting diagnosis the md gave us for the referral was 'uti'. Lol.............go doc! Tinkle plague? hmmm

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