First case of the plague this year reported in New Mexico.

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PostSun May 15, 2011 8:51 pm » by Torofamily

Situation Update No. 1
On 09.05.2011 at 07:32 GMT+2

A New Mexico man has become the first person this year to be reported with a case of the plague. The state Department of Health (DOH) would not release the identity of the man, but has confirmed that the victim is a 58-year-old man from Santa Fe County. According to health officials, the man went to the emergency room in the last week of April complaining of a high fever, and pain in his lower abdomen and groin area of his left leg. A state laboratory confirmed that the man had the plague last Thursday from a blood sample. The man is currently recovering in a hospital, reports KRQE news in Albuquerque. Investigators are collecting rodents and fleas for testing and will plan a visit to the man’s home to determine the cause of the disease. "Whenever there is a human case of plague, the Department of Health takes several steps to ensure the safety of the immediate family, neighbors, and health care providers," DOH Secretary Catherine Torres said in a statement.

The department will be handing out information about the plague to his immediate neighbors and are alerting people who may have come in contact with the victim, says Torres. Health officials have confirmed that earlier this spring, cases of the plague had been found in two dogs in Santa Fe County and a cat in Rio Arriba County. According to the Center for Disease Control one in seven people infected with the bubonic plague die. Each year between 5 to 15 people in the United States die from the plague. Plague symptoms in humans include fevers, chills, headaches, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin and neck areas. Toxins produced by plague bacteria gather in lymph nodes, and the toxins rapidly multiply and spread through the blood stream. People infected may develop pneumonia that may then be passed on to others through coughing. The disease may be contracted through handling infected animals. Neighboring New Mexico in West Texas, the bubonic plague is not uncommon in the rodent population.

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