Animal plague and tularemia cases up in New Mexico | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting ten cases of plague and 19 cases of tularemia in dogs and cats in multiple counties in 2016. In addition, recent rabbit die offs due to tularemia have been confirmed in the Santa Fe and Eldorado areas of Santa Fe County. Confirmatory testing was conducted at the Department’s Scientific Laboratory Division.

Counties of New Mexico

New Mexico map/US Government

Plague positive pets come from the following counties: Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Los Alamos, Torrance, and Taos counties. Environmental investigations were conducted at each site to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area. Dogs and cats have also tested positive for tularemia in Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Sandoval, and Los Alamos counties.

“Plague and tularemia activity usually picks up in the spring and early summer in New Mexico, so it is important to take precautions to avoid rodents and their fleas which can expose you to these potentially deadly diseases,” said Department of Health Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher.

Plague and tularemia are both bacterial diseases of rodents and rabbits and are generally transmitted to humans through the flea bites (plague) and deer fly bites (tularemia). They can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

“We are seeing recent die offs of rabbits in several areas of New Mexico from both plague and tularemia,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, public health veterinarian for the Department of Health. “People can be exposed to plague when pets bring infected fleas back into the home, by caring for a sick pet without proper precautions, or by contact with rodents or fleas outdoors. In addition, exposure to tularemia can occur from bites from deer flies or handling infected animals.”



  1. Lee says:

    All new Mexicans should have their animals on simple food bacteria killers daily which are not costly and well worth it. Different animals have different food medicines, but all can be found at most health food stores. Also many vets in NM are very current on these foods and integrate them in their care. We’re south NM, but all ours get plague fed daily anyway and fortunately we are more able to keep them from wild hunting. We bury all dead animals found deep with a rock pile on top too. Everything we do makes a difference.

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