SANTA FE, NM (KAMR / KCIT) – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports a cat has been diagnosed with plague in Los Alamos County. This is the first case of the plague in New Mexico this year.
The cat got sick in early January but has recovered after veterinary treatment, NMDOH said.
“NMDOH staff will conduct an environmental survey to ensure the safety of the immediate family and neighbors,” said Secretary-Designate Dr. Tracie Collins. “We also offer a friendly reminder: Even in the midst of a global pandemic, New Mexico still has other diseases and there are steps people can take to protect themselves and their pets.”
According to NMDOH, symptoms of the plague in humans include sudden fever, chills, headache, and weakness. In most cases, there is a painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck area. Symptoms of plague in cats and dogs include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and possible swelling of the lymph nodes under the jaw.
Rapid diagnosis and adequate treatment can greatly reduce the likelihood of death in humans and pets from the plague.
Doctors or veterinarians suspected of plague should contact NMDOH immediately at (505) 827-0006.
To prevent the plague:
· Avoid sick or dead rodents and rabbits and their nests and burrows.
· Prevent your pets from running around and hunting.
· Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product on your pets.
· Have sick pets examined by a veterinarian immediately.
· Contact your doctor about unexplained illnesses with a sudden and severe fever.
· Clear up areas near the house where rodents could live, such as the bathroom. B. piles of wood, brush stakes, garbage and abandoned vehicles.
· Place piles of hay, wood, and compost as far away from your home as possible.
· Do not leave pet food and water where rodents and wildlife can access them.
For more information, including fact sheets in English and Spanish, visit the Department of Health’s website at: https://nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/zdp/plg.