Two women, ages 52 and 62, were diagnosed with the plague in New Mexico this week, health officials say.
The New Mexico Health Department says the two women in Santa Fe County, N.M. were both hospitalized as a result of contracting confirmed symptoms of the human plague. Their diagnoses make them the second and third cases of the disease being found in the state this year. A 63-year-old man contracted the plague earlier this month in New Mexico.
Although all three had been hospitalized, none of the cases have been fatal. Health officials said they are investigating the homes of the patients in order to determine if rodents, fleas or another animal may be spreading the disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Plague? How Do You Treat The Plague?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the plague is a disease that affects humans and mammals and is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans typically start seeing plague conditions after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected –deal or alive — with plague. The disease is most famous for wiping out millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Symptoms of the plague, which is divided into three groups — bubonic, septicemic or pneumonic — all begin with fever-like aches and pains. According to the Mayo Clinic, bubonic is the most common form, which is specifically noted for the presence of swollen lymph nodes developing on the groin, armpit or neck within a week of being infected. The swelling is about the size of a chicken egg and is tender and warm to the touch.
Other signs and symptoms may include: Sudden onset of fever and chills, headache fatigue and general muscle aches.
Although the plague can be treated using antibiotics, the CDC says the key is still recognizing the symptoms early and receiving treatment immediately. The disease can still become life-threatening without quick and proper care. It can also be…