Idaho Child Contracts Plague, First In State Since 1992

Henrietta Brewer
June 16, 2018

The Idaho child is recovering after receiving treatment, according to the health department. However, the officials don't yet know if the kid contracted the disease in Idaho or in or where the young fellow went recently on a trip.

The plague is caused by a bacteria, the Yersinia Pestis, which is carried by rodent animals. Eight cases of plague have occurred in OR since 1990 and two in Idaho. The bubonic plague wiped out 50 million people in the world during the 14th Century, including somewhere between 25 and 60% of the entire population of Europe (record keeping was spotty back then), and it's a particularly nasty disease. "Without prompt treatment", however, "the disease can cause serious illness or death".

A little boy in Idaho has contracted bubonic plague, the first case in the area for decades, according to health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that plague is now a rare disease among humans and transmission from a person to another is highly unlikely, so the child does not pose a risk to others.


In a press release, the Health Department said that "Plague has historically been found in wildlife in both states", and that "since 1990, eight human cases were confirmed in OR and two were confirmed in Idaho".

Keep the backyard clean and place woodpiles, hay or compost piles away from rodents.

"Plague is spread to humans through a bite from an infected flea".

Keep pets from roaming and hunting squirrels or other rodents.


Do not feed rodents in picnic or campground areas and never handle sick or dead rodents.

The CDC said that some of the common symptoms of the bacterial disease include headache, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and weakness.

Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product on pets as not all products are safe for cats, dogs or children. On the other hand, in OR, eight such cases were recorded in the last 30 years. In most cases, there is a painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck areas. Left untreated, people can still die from the plague.

Rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, bloody or watery mucous.


Don't leave pet food and water where rodents or other wild animals can access them.

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