It was only a few days ago that a man in China died from the bubonic plague, and now we have another death from the disease that once ravaged Earth.
For those that don't know, there are three types of the plague that can be caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and those are pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic. The man China that died had the bubonic plague, and now reports are indicating that a man in New Mexico has sadly died of the septicemic plague. The bacterium Yersinia pestis is responsible for the highest-mortality rate epidemics throughout human history, the Black Death, which killed an estimated 75 - 200 million people from 1346 - 1353.
The death of the man marks the first fatality from the disease in the state since 2015, and the second overall case this year, according to officials in this press release. Here's a statement from officials, "The Rio Arriba County man died after being hospitalized. An environmental investigation will take place at the person's home to look for ongoing risk to immediate family members, neighbors and others in the surrounding community."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic as the most common forms of the plague. Here's the CDC's description of septicemic plague "can occur as the first symptom of the plague, or may develop from untreated bubonic plague. This form results from bites of infected fleas or from handling an infected animal."
So, what are the plague symptoms? According to the CDC, symptoms can include fever, chills, extreme weakness, abdominal pain, shock, and "possibly bleeding into the skin and other organs." Additionally, "skin and other tissues may turn black and die, especially on fingers, toes, and the nose."
New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel said in a statement, "Plague activity in New Mexico is usually highest during the summer months, so it is especially important now to take precautions to avoid rodents and their fleas which can expose you to plague."
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