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Published On: Sun, Jun 23rd, 2013

Albuquerque reports the plague in two dogs

The Albuquerque Environmental Health Department is reporting that two dogs that became sick in the East Mountains during the last month were ill with plague, according to a KASA.com report.

This image depicts a magnified view of an oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis. Image/CDC

This image depicts a magnified view of an oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis. Image/CDC

Both dogs have recovered and the site where the infections are believed to have occurred will be investigated, health officials say.

“These recent cases of plague in dogs serves as a reminder to the community, especially those living in the East Mountains, that plague is still present and still a significant health concern” said Dr. Mark DiMenna, the department’s deputy director. “We encourage everyone to use flea control on pets and follow other preventative measures in order to ensure their safety.”

The presence of plague in pets is an indicator of increased plague activity and the risk to humans also increases. Pets may get infected by eating a plague contaminated rodent and getting bitten by an infected flea.

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague. Human cases have been linked to the domestic cats and dogs that brought infected fleas into the house.

People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person.

Yersinia pestis is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Robert says:

    Bubonic plague was recently reported in Oregon too. Is this some sort of trend going on? Scary.

  2. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    IF THIS ARTICLE REFERS TO Bubonic plague, IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THE PLAGUE IS CAUSED BY POOR HYGIENE IN HUMANS AND POOR SEWAGE CONDITIONS WHICH TRANSFER TO PROBLEMS WITH RODENTS AND INSECTS. I THOUGHT THIS PROBLEM WAS HANDLED MORE THAN SIXTY-FIVE YEARS AGO – WHAT HAPPENED?

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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