Health department reports first case of plague in 2019 | KOB 4

Health department reports first case of plague in 2019

Health department reports first case of plague in 2019

Marian Camacho
April 12, 2019 11:08 AM

QUAY COUNTY, N.M. - The New Mexico Department of Health has reported the first case of plague, this year, in Quay County.


Health officials say a ranch dog was reported with the illness but has since recovered thanks to treatment from his veterinarian.

Plague is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected flea. Animals can also be infected through the eating of other animals who are infected. 

Humans can contract the plague through contact with tissues of infected animals and rarely through inhalation of coughed droplets from a sick pet.

“Plague can be deadly for pets and people if not promptly treated with antibiotics,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Health Kathy Kunkel. “We encourage pet owners to discuss with their veterinarians the best way to protect their animals from fleas."

Symptoms of the plague include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and weakness. Symptoms in animals include fever, tiredness, and loss of appetite.

Physicians who suspect plague should immediately call 505-827-0006.

Here are other recommendations from the Department of Health in order to avoid the plague:

• Avoid sick or dead rodents and rabbits, and their nests and burrows.

• Clean up areas near the home where rodents could live, such as woodpiles, brush or junk piles, outbuildings, sheds and abandoned vehicles

• Since pets who enjoy the outdoors can inadvertently carry infected fleas home, it is recommended that they be on a flea prevention product year-round.

• Prevent pets from roaming and hunting.

• Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian.

• See your doctor about any unexplained illness involving a sudden and high fever and be sure to describe to your provider if you’ve had contact with fleas, sick animals or rodents.


Marian Camacho

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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