Single Case Of Bubonic Plague Emerges In New MexicoTuesday, May 10, 2011 20:11
Although the Bubonic plague was eradicated years ago thanks to antibiotics, occasionally a few isolated cases reappear. In New Mexico, a 58 year old man went to the local hospital because of reported leg and groin pains. After doctors examined the man they found that he had become infected with the disease after being fit by a flea. Because rodents and vermin usually carry the plague, medical experts are asking local residents to be on high alert. It is likely that a small group of rats or mice are carrying the disease, which can be spread to other animals and then onto humans.
This is the first reported case of Bubonic plague in 2011, but New Mexico has long been a breeding ground for disease ridden rodents. If the disease is not diagnosed and treated within five days the carrier can die. Because the plague lives on in carcasses it is easy for it to be spread. Usually, the Bubonic plague is found in impoverished neighborhoods within third world countries, but because New Mexico is strategically placed between Mexico and the desert residents are at an increased risk.
The unnamed victim is expected to make a full recovery but health care professionals have issued a warning to his neighbors and co-workers. Because it is not known how he was infected there is a chance that others could unknowingly become infected. No other cases have been reported, however, officials will be monitoring the area closely in order to avoid more infections.