POST Online Media Lite Edition


NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES (11.19.2021, 4:50pm CEST, WHO):   India 11,106    Brazil 11,977    United Kingdom 46,858    Russia 37,156    Turkey 22,234    France 19,840    Argentina 1,553    Germany 52,970    Spain 3,932    Columbia 2,257    Italy 10,645    Mexico 3,836    Ukraine 20,050    Poland 23,242    Philippines 1,297    Malaysia 6,380    Netherlands 23,680    Peru 1,370    Thailand 6,855    Czechia 13,374    Canada 2,448    Romania 3,076    Chile 2,611    Serbia 3,219    Sweden 1,210    Portugal 2,398    Vietnam 10,223    Kazakhstan 1,272    Austria 14,212    Hungary 11,289    Greece 7,276    Georgia 4,278    Bulgaria 2,785    Belarus 1,844    Slovakia 7,418    Azerbaijan 2,124    Croatia 7,270    Bolivia 1,119    Ireland 4,646    Lithuania 1,847    Denmark 4,013    South Korea 3,034    Slovenia 3,662    Latvia 1,221    Laos 1,401    China 31    New Zealand 200    Australia 1,302   

California, Colorado and New Mexico have the highest risk of plague

Staff writer |
Parts of central Colorado, north-central New Mexico and southwestern and northeastern California have the highest risk for human exposure to plague, new research suggests.

Article continues below

The scientists said their findings, which are based on cases of plague reported in both wild and domestic animals between 2000 and 2015, could help public health officials better monitor the infection, which can be deadly in humans.

In recent years, seven human plague cases have been reported, on average, each year, affecting people of all ages. Half of reported cases involved people between the ages of 12 and 45, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The findings can be used by public health agencies to target specific areas for enhanced plague surveillance within areas and counties predicted to be at high risk, as well as by other research teams to direct the sampling of local wildlife populations for the identification of Yersinia pestis in wild animals that find themselves in close proximity to humans and human developed landscapes," said researcher Michael Walsh.

An assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics with the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate in New York, his comments appeared in a university news release.

Plague was introduced into the United States in 1900, according to the CDC. Rat-infested steamships sailing from affected areas brought the disease, which is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria found in rodents and their fleas.

The last urban plague epidemic in the United States occurred in Los Angeles in 1924 and 1925. After that outbreak, plague spread from urban rats to rural rodent species. This caused plague to become entrenched in many areas of the western United States.

Most human cases have been reported in rural areas of northern New Mexico, northern Arizona and southern Colorado; and in California, southern Oregon and far western Nevada, the researchers said.

What to read next

Black Death in Arizona: Fleas found positive for bubonic plague
Black Death in Arizona: Fleas found positive for bubonic plague
Strawberries may stave off heart disease, diabetes