- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - State health officials say a 57-year-old Torrance County man hospitalized in critical condition is the first human case of plague in New Mexico and in the United States this year.

New Mexico had four human plague cases in 2013 with one fatality.

Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

Symptoms in humans include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and weakness.

The Department of Health says it will examine the man’s home to look for ongoing risks to other people.

Health Secretary Retta Ward says health workers also may go to other homes in the neighborhood to tell residents about the plague case and to educate them about their risk.

The department says health care providers and people close to the patient are taking antibiotics as preventive therapy.



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