Officials confirm Idaho’s first human plague case since 1992

Idaho child diagnosed with plague

Idaho child diagnosed with plague

People can reduce the chance of encountering plague by avoiding contact with wild rodents, their fleas and rodent carcasses.

The most common type is the bubonic plague, which represents 80 to 95 percent of cases.

A child in Elmore County is recovering from a plague infection, state health officials announced on Tuesday. Human-to-human transmission is extremely rare. Plague continues to be a serious and potentially fatal bacterial illness.

The child who was diagnosed in Idaho this week was treated with antibiotics.

A child in Idaho is recovering after being treated for the bubonic plague this week.

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.

The Statesman says there here have been two cases of plague in humans in Idaho and eight in OR since 1990. Since those discoveries, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, public health districts and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare have been working to raise awareness of plague in the area each year. That would only happen through close proximity to someone suffering from the variation of the disease known as pneumonic plague.

The plague was brought to the United States around 1900 by rat-infested steamships that had sailed from areas with high infection rates. It can appear on its own or develop from bubonic plague.

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.

Still, the USA only gets a handful of cases - usually between one and 17 every year. Those outbreaks, like a recent severe one in Madagascar, can become more unsafe.

In recent decades, an average of seven human plague cases have been reported each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That list includes rats, voles, and ground squirrels, all of which can be found in Idaho. "If they get on another rodent that they can live on, then they've been successful". It also can be transmitted to people by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits and pets.

In the 1400s, approximately 50 million people died of the Black Death. But fortunately, antibiotics make it possible to treat most cases now. In 2015, 16 cases of plague were reported and, in 2016, there were only 4 cases.