Two new cases of plague have been confirmed in New Mexico, bringing the total number of cases of human plague in the state this year to three.
The New Mexico Department of Health reported that two women, ages 52 and 62, from Santa Fe County were diagnosed with plague. The first case of plague in Santa Fe County this year, found in a 63-year-old man, was reported earlier in June. All three cases have required hospitalization, the health department said.
Plague, a bacterial disease found in rodents, is usually transmitted to humans through bites from infected fleas or by direct contact with infected animals, like rodents, wildlife and pets. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, weakness and painful swollen lymph nodes. Proper treatment and antibiotics greatly reduce the risk of death.
Four cases of plague were reported in New Mexico in 2016.