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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NEWS SCAN: Plague in New Mexico, cholera in 3 countries, measles update


" New Mexico confirms 2nd human plague case

78-year-old man from Santa Fe County has contracted New Mexico's second case of bubonic plague in less than a month, according to the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDH). The man is recovering in a hospital, according to a department news release. The first case was confirmed May 6 in a 58-year-old man from the same county who also was hospitalized but is now recovering at home. "We are seeing plague activity in both humans and animals from many different locations of north-central New Mexico," said NMDH Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres. "Everyone needs to be aware of the situation and take precautions to avoid rodents and their fleas." Plague, a bacterial disease, is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, other wildlife, and pets, according to the NMDH.

Cholera stalks Haiti, Dominican Republic, Somalia

Cholera cases are on the rise again in Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic, and Somalia is also fighting an epidemic, according to press reports. The disease is increasing in Haiti's West department, and health agencies are responding quickly in an effort to keep the pathogen from spreading to Port-au-Prince, said World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman Fadela Chaib, according to a May 27 United Nations press release. More than 300,000 Haitians have had cholera and more than 5,000 have died in the epidemic that began there in 2010.

Toddler in Washington state contracts measles

A 2-year-old boy from Port Orchard, Wash., who had no history of travel has contracted measles, the first case in Kitsap County since 1999, according to county health officials. The boy had received his first measles shot but was not yet due to receive a second dose, which would have afforded more complete protection, according to the Kitsap Sun. The CDC confirmed the case on May 27. His is the third measles case in the state this year."

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