(RNN) – Officials in Idaho have confirmed a child has the plague, the first human case of the illness since 1992 in the state.
The child is from Elmore County, near Boise. In a blog post on Tuesday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said:
“The case serves as a reminder to recreationists in southern Idaho that plague is dangerous to people and pets, but with proper awareness, precautions, and prompt treatment when needed, plague should not discourage you from enjoying the Idaho outdoors.”
The disease is most typically transmitted to humans from fleas who have bitten infected rodents.
It is most notable for causing the Black Death in Europe in the 1300s, killing between 30 and 60 percent of the entire population of the continent at the time.
Now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague.”
If not treated properly, though, it can lead to serious illness and death, according to the agency. CDC statistics state that an average of seven human cases are reported every year in the United States.
According to the most recent data, there were no deaths from plague in 2016, but four in 2015. There were 16 cases reported that year, the second-most since 2000.
The Idaho health department said plague was found in the state in 2015 and 2016 in squirrels. It said it was also possible the child contracted the illness during a recent trip to Oregon.
A state health official told the Idaho Statesman newspaper that the public is advised to “wear insect repellant, long pants and socks when visiting plague affected areas.”
According to the CDC, symptoms can include fever, headache, chills, extreme weakness and, depending on the type of plague, skin discoloration, swollen and painful lymph nodes, or pneumonia.
Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.