An unidentified child in Elmore County, Idaho, is being treatedfor the state’s first human case of plague in over 25 years.
The child is being treated with antibiotics, and is expected to recover. It is unknown whether they were exposed to the disease at home, or abroad in a recent trip to Oregon.
“Plague is spread to humans through a bite from an infected flea. People can decrease their risk by treating their pets for fleas and avoiding contact with wildlife,” said Central District Health Department epidemiologist Sarah Correll. “Wear insect repellent, long pants and socks when visiting plague affected areas.”
The CDHD says that the spread of plague to human hosts is rare, but is often naturally found in wild rodents such as squirrels. In the spring and summer, when animals are more active, the risk of infection increases. To prevent exposure, no one should ever feed wild rodents, nor handle any that are sick or dead.