Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

06/12/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2018 17:21

S. Idaho plague case a reminder to enjoy outdoors safely

A child in southern Idaho's Elmore County is recovering from the bacterial disease of plague, the first confirmed human case of plague identified in the state since 1992. Epidemiologists with the Central District Health Department said today (June 12, 2018) it is not known whether the child was exposed to plague in Idaho or during a recent trip to Oregon. Plague has historically been found in wildlife in both states.

The case serves as a reminder to recreationists in southern Idaho that plague is dangerous to people and pets, but with proper awareness, precautions, and prompt treatment when needed, plague should not discourage you from enjoying the Idaho outdoors.

Plague was identified in 2015 and 2016 in ground squirrels found in the desert south of Interstate 84 in Ada County. Since those discoveries, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, public health districts and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare have been working to raise awareness of plague in the area each year.

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