Black Death: Idaho boy is struck down with plague

Black Death: Idaho boy is struck down with plague

Health officials in Elmore County, near the capital city of Boise, said the boy was diagnosed late last month. Health officials said ground squirrels near the child's home in Elmore County, Idaho, had tested positive for carrying the disease in 2015 and 2016, though no cases have been reported since.

Officials are now trying to determine if he contracted the disease in Idaho or during a recent family trip to or, the Daily Mail reports. It can also be transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected animals or their fleas.

Idaho's Central District Health Department reported on Tuesday that a child in Elmore County was recovering from the bubonic plague.

Since 1990, there have been two cases of plague in humans in Idaho and eight in Oregon.

The plague was brought to the United States around 1900 by rat-infested steamships that had sailed from areas with high infection rates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that plague is now a rare disease among humans and transmission from a person to another is highly unlikely, so the child does not pose a risk to others.

In a press release, the Health Department said that "Plague has historically been found in wildlife in both states", and that "since 1990, eight human cases were confirmed in OR and two were confirmed in Idaho".

Credit PA
Credit PA

The bubonic plague, which is one of the three types of plague, is often identified by its symptoms: headache, fever, chills, and swollen, tender, and painful lymph nodes called buboes.

Luckily, despite wiping out millions a few hundred years ago, the plague is incredibly treatable today, and preventable in most cases.

Symptoms of plague would appear two-six days after getting infected. It can also be contracted by handling an animal infected with plague.

People can greatly reduce their risk of becoming infected with plague by taking simple precautions, including avoiding contact with wild rodents, their fleas, and rodent carcasses. To prevent exposure, no one should ever feed wild rodents, nor handle any that are sick or dead.

See your doctor if you have any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever after being in a plague-endemic area.

Rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, bloody or watery mucous.

Store hay, wood and compost piles as far as possible away from your home.

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