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Second New Mexico plague case reported

ALBUQUERQUE, 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 announced.

The woman most likely was exposed to plague when her dogs brought 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 their pets from roaming and hunting 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 sickened a 57-year-old Torrance County man who is recovering, the agency said.

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