Idaho child recovering from plague may have contracted it on Oregon trip

flea - File photo MGN

Health officials say a child from Idaho is recovering after getting the plague this week, and they are not sure if the child contracted it while recently visiting Oregon.

The Central District Health Department in Idaho says they are unsure if the child got it in the state or from a recent trip to Oregon.

There have been eight human cases confirmed in Oregon and two in Idaho since 1990.

The Centers for Disease Control says that the plague happens naturally in western states, particularly during cooler summers that follow wet winters.

CDC officials said that some of the symptoms of the plague include fever, headache, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes.

While rare in humans, the health department says plague is found in rodent populations like the ground squirrels in Idaho. Fleas can spread the disease between animals, and humans can get it through direct contact with infected animals or fleas.

Person-to-person transmission is extremely rare and in the case of the child, was not a risk factor to others.

Health officials are urging anyone who is in the area to take extra precautions to limit their exposure to fleas, which includes avoiding sick or dead animals, keeping pets from running loose, regularly treating pets for fleas, taking sick pets to the vet, and keeping food in rodent-proof containers, and avoiding rodent dens.

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