Another case of plague confirmed in California has been brought to the attention of the Pueblo-City Health Department after a child was confirmed with the potentially lethal disease. While neither their identity or age has been made public, it has been suggested that the child has been infected during a camping trip in Yosemite National Park.
The plagued claimed the lives of millions of people during the 14th century, with bubonic cases of the disease nearly wiping out half of medieval Europe. Only in rare cases it was spread from one human to another, rats being looked at as the major contributor for the extensive epidemic.
However, thankfully, with the advancement of modern medicine, it has since been eliminated as a major problem by both cutting down the occurrences and crossing it out of the category of deadly diseases. As long as it’s not left untreated, several courses of antibiotics would make sure that the patient does not perish as many others have over 700 years ago.
The case recently reported in California is assumed to have been caused by the child’s contact with a dead rodent or other animal, where the plague-infested flea might’ve switched hosts and bit them. No other person accompanying the child on the trip presented symptoms of the disease, which imply high fever, nausea, swollen glands, chills and weakness.
This is the first case of human plague discovered in California since 2006, with others being reported in between 2005 and 2006 within Mono, Los Angeles and Kern Counties.
California has seen a total number of 42 cases of plague since 1970, when the disease was first found in various rodents and animals around San Diego, Santa Barbara, El Dorado, Mariposa, Modoc, Plumas and Sierra County.
Around the United States, ten people were diagnosed with the plague in 2014, four in 2013 and another four in 2012. This year, it has killed two people in Colorado, a teen and an adult who passed away earlier this week in spite of a simple treatment.
Campers are being more avidly advised to stay away from dead rodents, which is the case when a plague-infected flea might jump away from its host onto the human and, thus, cause the infection.
Dr. Karen Smith, director and state officer of the California Department of Public Health, has stated that people should avoid contact with wild rats, squirrels, chipmunks or any other rodents in order to prevent more cases of the potentially deadly yet curable disease.
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