New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.

Plague

Plague is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis. People usually get plague from the bite of a rodent flea that is carrying plague bacteria or by handling an infected animal.

Although plague is a rare disease, about half of US cases each year occur in New Mexico. Today, modern antibiotics are effective against plague, but if an infected person is not treated promptly, the disease can be life-threatening.


Prevention Pamphlet

This helpful Plague Prevention Pamphlet provides a wealth of information about plague. It explains the three forms of plague, how it is spread, that it is curable if treated in time, and how to prevent it.


Frequently Asked Questions

This document answers common questions including what plague is, what symptoms are, how it spreads, how long people are contagious, what treatments are available, and more.


Fact Sheet

This Plague Fact Sheet explains what the plague is, how people get it, common forms of plague, how to protect yourself, and more.


Physicians & Healthcare Workers

This Plague Manual for Investigation document provides a wealth of information about plague for New Mexico physicians and healthcare workers including agent, mode of transmission, period of communicability, incubation period, common symptoms, specific forms of plague, laboratory diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, and reporting.


Activity in New Mexico

Human

There have been four Human Plague Case in New Mexico in 2017 in a 63-year-old man, a 62-year-old woman, a 73-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County, all of whom survived the illness.

There were four Human Plague Cases in New Mexico in 2016 in a 16-year-old boy from Rio Arriba County, a 77-year-old man from Bernalillo County, a 21-year-old man from Mora County, and a 67-year-old man from Bernalillo County who was exposed to plague while in Santa Fe County. All survived the illness.

See the following news releases for more information:

Animal

There have been 24 Animal Plague Cases in New Mexico in 2017 in nine dogs and two cats from Santa Fe County, two dogs, three cats, a mouse, and a wood rat from Bernalillo County, two dogs from Los Alamos County, a dog from Sandoval County, a cat from Rio Arriba County, a cat from Taos County, and a dog from Torrance County.

There were 34 confirmed Animal Plague Cases in New Mexico in 2016 in two rabbits, a bear, and a dog from Sandoval County, eleven dogs and two cats from Santa Fe County, a dog and a cat from Torrance County, three cats and three dogs from Bernalillo County, a dog and a cat from Los Alamos County, three cats and a dog from Taos County, and two dogs and a cat from Rio Arriba County.

See the following news releases for more information:


New Mexico Case Data

Case data from previous years are archived below for historical reference.

Human

Animal


Selected Literature