SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Health reported Monday that a Santa Fe County man in his 60s has a case of bubonic plague. He is recovering at a hospital.
According to health officials, an environmental investigation is being done around the man’s home to see if his immediate family or neighbors face any risk.
Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel says this case is a reminder there are other infectious diseases to be aware of besides COVID-19. It is the state’s first case of bubonic plague this year.
A bacterial disease that usually originates with wildlife, the plague can be transmitted to humans and pets through the bites of infected fleas. Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, and swelling of the lymph nodes. It can lead to death.
Doctors say it can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early enough.
Health officials advise avoiding dead rodents or rabbits as well as nests or burrows. Pet owners should also consider not letting pets go hunting or roaming.