Stay Alert for Plague, CDC Advises

September 2, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Health System


In light of the 11 cases of plague that have been reported in the United States since April 1, 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising providers to consider the diagnosis of plague in any patient with signs or symptoms, residence or travel in the western United States, and recent proximity to rodent habitats or direct contact with rodents or ill domestic animals, as outlined in a report in the August 28, 2015, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The 11 cases have been reported in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oregon; the cases in California and Georgia were reported in people who had recently been at or near Yosemite National Park. Three of the 11 individuals have died. In addition, an August 27, 2015, CNN article reports that a Utah resident has also died from plague. From 2001 to 2012, the median annual number of plague cases reported in the United States was three. It is unclear why there are more cases this year than usual.

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