Keeping our kids healthy is a chore. We can’t always stay on top of what they’re coming in contact with. And some kids have to put literally everything in their mouths. Or they sneeze in each other’s faces. It is really difficult. And that’s not even counting things like airborne illnesses that we have no control over. A young boy in Idaho has been diagnosed with the plague, and frankly, it’s a little scary. Yes, that plague. Apparently, it’s still around, just in a much smaller instance. According to the Idaho Central District Health Department, this is the first case in a person since 1992, so that’s reassuring at least.
Okay, so here’s the thing. The odds of getting the plague are still pretty slim. The East Idaho News states that this is the fifth case of the plague since 1940. And at this point, the plague is easily treated by antibiotics, which the young boy has already been given. The only problem is, the boy could have contracted the disease in Idaho, or on a recent trip to Oregon. Either way, we shouldn’t start planning for another epidemic. This isn’t the return of the Dark Ages.
.@IDHW says a child in Idaho’s Elmore County is recovering from the bacterial disease of plague, the first confirmed human case of plague identified in the state since 1992. IDHW says the case is a reminder to take precautions and safely enjoy outdoor recreation. pic.twitter.com/9lKQWMCUgX— Idaho Public Radio (@IdahoPubRadio) June 13, 2018
So, why is the plague something we’re still dealing with? The main carriers of the plague are often rodents, like ground squirrels. Unless we figure out a way to eradicate an entire species, this will never truly go away. You can also contract the plague from infected fleas, so being hyper vigilant about protecting your pets from fleas could be of the utmost importance. Reports aren’t saying exactly how the boy came in contact with the disease, which makes sense if they don’t know where he was when he got it.
The most important thing to know at this point is how to spot the symptoms. They are eerily similar to flu symptoms, so it could be hard to notice. In humans, symptoms usually present themselves in two to six days. They include, extreme fever, chills, headaches, and swelling of the lymph nodes around the armpit, says the Idaho CDHD. If you or anyone you know has those symptoms, especially after spending a lot of time outdoors, go to the doctor immediately.
“Wear insect repellent, long pants and socks when visiting plague affected areas,” says Sarah Correll, an epidemiologist for the Central District Health Department in a statement.
A case of bubonic plague turned up in Idaho. Damn, I hear the only way to stop a bad case of bubonic plague is with a good case of bubonic plague.— Paul Lander (@paul_lander) June 14, 2018
Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your pets, especially if you have rodents running around outside. Don’t handle dead rodents. And make sure you are properly protecting your pets against fleas.
If you do, there is no reason you should come down with the plague.