The first case of Bubonic plaque has been confirmed on a man living in New Mexico.
Veterinarian, Paul Ettestad, is recovering in a local Sante-Fe hospital, after checking himself in the emergency room with a high-fever, “pain in his lower abdominal area and in the groin area of his left leg, which was traced to a swollen lymph node.”
Dr. Catherine Torres, Secretary of The Department of Health for New Mexico, is warning residents of preventable measures for the bacterial disease, formerly known as “Black Death,” infects humans through flea bites and contact with infected rodents.
Department of Health recommends the following steps to avoid infection:
- Avoid direct contact with sick or dead rodents and rabbits, and their nests and burrows.
- Use a flea control product on your pets, and monitor their outside activities
- Signs of sickness in your pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian.
- Consult your doctor about any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever.
- Don’t leave your pet’s food and water where mice can get to it.
- Clean up areas near the house where rodents could live, such as woodpiles, brush piles, junk and abandoned vehicles.
- Keep hay, wood, and compost piles as far as possible from your home.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include:
- Sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and weakness.
- Most cases involve a painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck areas.
- Plague symptoms in cats and dogs are fever, lethargy and loss of appetite possibly with swelling in the lymph node under the jaw.