Agency reports first plague death in NM since 2015 - Albuquerque Journal

Agency reports first plague death in NM since 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. — A Rio Arriba County man has died of the plague in what the state Department of Health says is the first such death in New Mexico since 2015.

The man was in his 20s and had been hospitalized, officials said Friday.

Department officials had said in late July that a Santa Fe County man in his 60s who was recovering at a hospital was the first case of plague this year.

The plague is a bacterial disease that usually originates with wildlife. It can be transmitted to humans and pets through the bites of infected fleas.

Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, and swelling of the lymph nodes. It can lead to death.

Doctors say it can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early enough.

Health officials advise avoiding dead rodents or rabbits as well as nests or burrows. Pet owners should also consider not letting pets go hunting or roaming.

A statement released by the department said health officials would investigate the Rio Arriba County man’s home to check for onggoing risk to the man’s family members, neighbors and others.


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