RSOE EDIS – Epidemic Hazard in USA on Friday, 01 June, 2012 at 03:11 (03:11 AM) UTC. EDIS CODE: EH-20120601-35284-USA
A 78-year-old Torrance County, New Mexico man is the first human case of plague in New Mexico or the United States in 2012. Health officials report the yet unnamed man is currently hospitalized in stable condition. According to a New Mexico Department of Health press release Thursday, they confirmed the man as having the plague, or Yersinia pestis today. NM Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Catherine Torres said, “The Department of Health takes action when a plague case occurs to ensure the safety of the immediate family, neighbors, and health care providers. We inform neighbors door-to-door about plague found in the area and educate them on reducing their risk. We determine whether individuals close to the patient may also have been exposed to the plague and recommend preventative treatment when necessary.” Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium,Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles.