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NM Man Hospitalized With Bubonic Plague

NM Man Hospitalized With Bubonic Plague
Friday, May 27, 2011 - 9:27am

SANTA FE- A Santa Fe man has been diagnosed with New Mexico's second case of Bubonic Plague this year.

Today, a 78-year-old man was hospitalized and recovering from the plague, which is a bacterial disease linked to fleas and rodents.

The first case was reported in early May in a 58-year-old man from the same area.

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

“Pets that bring rodents or their fleas back into the home and bedroom has been a risk factor for people getting plague,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, public health veterinarian for the Department of Health. “Preventing your pets from roaming and hunting rodents, using a flea control product on all your pets, and not allowing them to sleep in bed with you are three things you can do to decrease your risk of being bitten by an infected flea.”

To prevent plague, the Department of Health recommends:

• Avoid sick or dead rodents and rabbits, and their nests and burrows.
• Keep your pets from roaming and hunting and talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product.
• Clean up areas near the house where rodents could live, such as woodpiles, brush piles, junk and abandoned vehicles.
• Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian.
• See your doctor about any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever.
• Put hay, wood, and compost piles as far as possible from your home.
• Don’t leave your pet’s food and water where mice can get to it.

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