SANTA FE, N.M. — A 43-year-old Rio Arriba County woman has been hospitalized with plague, marking New Mexico’s second reported case of the bacterial disease this year, the state Department of Health said.
The woman most likely was exposed to plague when her dogs carried infected fleas into her home, Health Secretary Retta Ward said in a written statement.
Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas. People can protect themselves from plague by preventing pets from roaming outdoors.
The agency also recommends avoiding sick or dead rodents or rabbits, cleaning up areas where rodents can live, treating sick pets promptly and speaking with a veterinarian about appropriate flea control products.
The state’s first reported case this year, in April, sickened a 57-year-old Torrance County man who is recovering, the agency said.