Boy in America contracts bubonic plague

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Fleas carry the bubonic plague (Getty)

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

The child, who has not been identified, is now back home after being treated with antibiotics and ‘doing well’.

The child became ill last month, says Christine Myron, a spokeswoman for the Central District Health Department, in the first case since 1992.

‘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 Sarah Correll,  Central District Health Department epidemiologist.

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‘Wear insect repellent, long pants and socks when visiting plague affected areas.’

It is not known whether the child was exposed to plague in Idaho or during a recent trip to Oregon.

Plague has historically been found in wildlife in both states: it’s rare in humans, and person-to-person transmission is extremely rare.

Symptoms of plague usually occur within two to six days of exposure to infected wildlife.

A plague outbreak in Madagascar killed more than 100 people last year.