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Health & Fit A case of the plague has emerged in Idaho — here's why the disturbing disease continues to re-appear

23:08  13 june  2018
23:08  13 june  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com

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A case of the plague has emerged in Idaho — here ' s why the disturbing disease continues to re - appear . A child in Elmore County, Idaho , has been diagnosed with the plague , according to a statement by Central District Health in Idaho .

rocked by Black Death fears once more after a 'school cook' catches the medieval disease - months However, panic has re - emerged after a fresh suspected case in Ankazobe The man, whose name is unknown, had all the symptoms of bubonic plague plague , however officials have stated that new cases of bubonic plague ' continue to appear

flea hooke plague © Provided by Business Insider flea hooke plague


A child in Elmore County, Idaho, has been diagnosed with the plague, according to a statement by Central District Health in Idaho.

This plague case, like others that appear rarely but with some regularity, is the same disease that was responsible for the medieval "Black Death." Plague continues to be a serious and potentially fatal bacterial illness. But fortunately, if it's caught early enough, it can be treated with antibiotics.

The Idaho child is recovering after receiving treatment, according to the health department. Officials aren't sure whether the child was exposed to the disease in Idaho or on a recent trip to Oregon.

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1: Plague bacteria (Yersinia pestis). Why is plague considered a dreadful disease ? The world has seen widespread epidemics of plague for ages. It continues to be a life threatening disease unless Recent outbreaks have shown that plague may re - emerge in areas after a long period of silence.

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There are a few plague cases every year in the US, mostly in the rural West and especially the Southwest. The Idaho Central District Health's statement said that since 1990, there have been two cases in Idaho and eight in Oregon. However, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, there was a plague outbreak south of Boise from 2015 through 2016 that affected animals.

Over the past few years, a few cases of plague have been recorded annually in New Mexico as well.

How plague spreads

Plague is spread by fleas that carry the Yersinia pestis bacteria, which can cause the three forms of plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. Flea bites spread bubonic or septicemic plague, which both cause fever and weakness. Bubonic plague results in painfully swollen lymph nodes, while septicemic plague happens when the infection gets in the blood and causes skin and tissue to turn black and die. It can appear on its own or develop from bubonic plague.

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Plague is often associated with the Middle Ages, but the infamous disease wreaked havoc before and after that time, and continues to infect people today. More than 1,000 cases of plague have been reported in the United States in the past 100 years.

In the case of bubonic plague , it normally killed fifty to seventy percent of the patients it infected; a rate attained by few other diseases . We’ re going to examine why this major difference — why some diseases have a much more lasting footprint than others.

Untreated, patients can develop pneumonic plague, the most serious form of the disease, which spreads from person to person when infected people cough tiny droplets into the air.

plague map cdc © Provided by Business Insider plague map cdc

Most of the time, people are exposed to plague when they or their pets go near wild or dead animals carrying fleas that are hosts to Yersinia pestis bacteria.

"People can decrease their risk
by treating their pets for fleas and avoiding contact with wildlife," Sarah Correll, an epidemiologist with
Central District Health Department, said in the statement about the infected child.

Still, the US only gets a handful of cases — usually between one and 17 every year. When a case does crop up in the US, disease detectives try to find every person an infected individual came into contact with.

Plague is a bigger problem in places that have a harder time shutting down outbreaks due to a lack of infrastructure, humanitarian crises, or ongoing conflicts, according to the World Health Organization. Those outbreaks, like a recent severe one in Madagascar, can become more dangerous.

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Two new cases of the plague have popped up — here ' s why it keeps appearing in the US. Why plague persists. It's possible that people can catch plague from direct contact with infected animals, according to the New Mexico Department of Health, but fleas are still usually the link between infected

Mad-cow disease continues to haunt Britain, and Europe in general, even though the European Community, having made extraordinary efforts, appears to have contained the "We feed the best alfalfa we can buy, from Townsend, Montana, or Mud Lake, Idaho , or eastern Washington State.

Why plague persists

In wild rodent populations that harbor the bacteria, plague can thrive for a long time before humans come into contact with it.

Ken Gage, a researcher focused on vector-borne disease at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NPR in 2014 that there are a number of rodents in the American West that are susceptible to plague. That list includes rats, voles, and ground squirrels, all of which can be found in Idaho. In rural areas with semi-arid forests and grasslands, these animals spread the disease amongst themselves.

"What we see in the West here is the fleas will crawl up to the entrance of the burrow and wait for a host to come by," Gage told NPR. "If they get on another rodent that they can live on, then they've been successful. But they can also jump on humans, or on dogs, or coyotes, or cats, which aren't the right hosts, but unfortunately those animals can be bitten by the fleas and get plague."

In the 1400s, approximately 50 million people died of the Black Death. Plague is still one of the scarier infectious diseases out there, with a mortality rate between 30% and 60% if untreated. But fortunately, antibiotics make it possible to treat most cases now. Between 2010 and 2015, there were around 584 plague deaths around the world.

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