Boy in New Mexico dies of the Bubonic Plague: 1st case this year
An eight-year-old boy in New Mexico has died of the Bubonic Plague, and his ten-year-old sister has been hospitalized. This is the first recorded case of the plague in the nation this year.
It is not known exactly how they contracted the disease, but health officials are conducting an investigation at the childrens' home to determine if there is any risk to others.
The plague is transmitted through bites from fleas, but can also be caught by direct contact with infected animals, such as rodent, rabbits and other household pets.
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 name of the children have not been released and the location of their homes is being kept a secret to protect their privacy.
The fleas that are being found are to be sent to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for tests. Nearby local residents have been told that plague is in the area.
About 10 to 15 people contract the plague each year, but it was during the 1340s in Europe that the plague wiped out millions of people; that area of history is simply known as 'The Black Death'.