Idaho child diagnosed with plague

Olha Schedrina  The Natural History Museum   Flea under a microscope

The disease is most typically transmitted to humans from fleas who have bitten infected rodents. There were 16 cases reported that year, the second-most since 2000.

For just the fifth time since 1940, an Idaho resident has been diagnosed with the plague.

An Elmore County child is the first with a confirmed human case of plague in the state since 1992.

Evidently. It's unknown whether the child - whose identity was not disclosed - contracted the disease in Idaho or in or while on a recent vacation.

Health officials stress that person-to-person transmission is extremely rare and this case was not a risk to others.

The Idaho child is recovering after receiving treatment, according to the health department.

Common symptoms of plague in humans include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and weakness.

One of the ways to avoid the plague is to prevent contact with infected fleas by wearing repellent during activities such as camping, hiking, working outdoors.

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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.

Don't leave pet food and water where rodents can get to them.

When a child in Idaho had a spiking fever, his parents rushed him in to a health care provider this week and were surprised to learn that he had an unlikely case of the bubonic plague.

Still, the U.S. only gets a handful of cases - usually between one and 17 every year.

Further, the Center for Disease Control noted other preventative measures include wearing gloves when handling animals that could be infected, and preventing pets from sleeping in the same bed as humans.

As in, the "Black Death" is still around?

In the US, people can contract the plague when disposing of squirrels or mice that died from the infection or traveled to an area where infected animals live.

The plague killed some 60 percent of Europeans during the 1300's, but it is no longer as deadly, with a mortality rate of around 10%. The disease was later spread from urban rats to rural rodent populations, and a small number of cases have since emerged in rural areas, according to the CDC. In 2015, 16 cases of plague were reported and, in 2016, there were only 4 cases.

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