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More cases of human plague confirmed in New Mexico

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6/28/2017 Mary Bowerman
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Two new cases of the plague have been confirmed in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, according to health officials. 

The New Mexico Department of Health said a 52-year-old woman and a 62-year-old woman were recently diagnosed with the plague. According to health officials, the first confirmed case of the plague this year occurred in June when a 63-year-old man contracted the plague. 

All three patients, who live in Santa Fe County, were hospitalized but there have been no deaths.

Health officials are investigating around the homes of the patients to ensure there is no additional risk to those nearby. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are seven cases of plague on average each year. 

While the plague is a serious illness, it can be treated if the symptoms, which vary depending on the type of plague, are recognized early. 

The plague is typically transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted through contact with rodents or dead animals. 

According to the CDC, people can reduce their chances of contracting the plague by reducing rodent habitat around their homes, treating pets for fleas, and wearing appropriate bug spray when camping or in areas where you may come into contact with fleas. 


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