Friday, May 13. 2011
The New Mexico Department of Public Health (NMDOH) confirmed that a 58-year-old Sante Fe County man had contracted the bubonic plague, commonly referred to as the Black Death, last week.
The man, whose name has not been released, is said to be recovering in the hospital.
Officials in New Mexico are now focused on preventing other residents from being exposed by advising them to avoid dead or ailing rodents. Because there were also two cases of plague reported in dogs in the area, locals are also being told to keep a close eye on their pets.
Cabinet Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres explained that the NMDOH takes several steps to ensure public safety in such matters.
"We inform neighbors door-to-door about plague found in the area and educate them on reducing their risk," said Secretary Torres.
The bubonic plague wreaked havoc on Europe in the Middle Ages, before the days of hospitals and health insurance. While it is still cause for concern, the plague does not carry the same death sentence that it did at that time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends prompt treatment with antibiotics.
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