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Second animal plague case confirmed in North Albuquerque Acres

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A stray cat found in North Albuquerque Acres was confirmed to have died of plague, marking the second recent death of an animal found in that area from the bacterial disease, city officials said today.

The cat’s death, after the recent death of a dog from plague, could indicate the reemergence of plague in a part of the city where it has not been observed since the late 1990s, said Dr. Mark DiMenna, deputy director of the city’s Environmental Health Department.

North Albuquerque Acres is in far Northeast Albuquerque west of Tramway NE, including neighborhoods both north and south of Paseo del Norte NE.

The agency warned residents to call 311 to report sick or dead animals found in the area.

Cats are particularly susceptible to plague, which can spread among colonies of feral cats, the agency said in a written statement. People who work with free-roaming cats need to watch for plague symptoms in both animals and humans, it said.

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Plague is a potentially deadly bacterial disease that cycles between rodents and fleas. People usually get the disease from the bites of infected fleas, but it can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents and pets.

Symptoms of plague in cats can include swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and the presence of abscesses, discharge or bloody sputum, the statement said.

Symptoms of plague in humans include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, weakness, and painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck areas.

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