2018 PLAGUE SEASON
Ground squirrels in Idaho's desert sagebrush areas are known to be a source of plague. The highest risk for plague exposure to animals and humans occurs March through July. In early June 2018, an Elmore County child was confirmed to have plague. The child was treated and has recovered. It is most likely the child contracted plauge in Oregon, but an exact source was not found. In late June 2018, an Elmore County pet cat tested positive for plague. The cat was treated and is recovering. In mid-July, a feral cat died, most likely from plague.
Although no rodent die-offs have been reported so far in 2018, Idaho public health and wildlife officials remind people there is always potential for ground squirrels who reside in desert areas with sagebrush to carry plague, and urge anyone visiting these areas to take precautions to protect themselves and pets from plague. View the 2018 Potential Plague Affected Area Map
In recent years, pets have become ill or died from contact with ground squirrels or their fleas — and put humans in danger of illness and death. In 2016, four cats from Elmore County and one from Ada County became infected with plague. Four of the five infected cats died.
07-16-2018: Elmore County Cat Likely Died of Plague
06-26-2018: Elmore County Cat Recovering from Plague Infection
2018 Map of Potential Plague Affected Area
06-12-2018: Elmore County Child Recovering After Plague Infection
06-12-2018 Health Alert to Providers
06-12-18 - Idaho Health & Welfare Blog Post
Plague-Related Materials & Links
Where is plague in the US? (CDC map)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is plague?
Plague occurs naturally in the western United States.
How do people get plague?
How can I avoid plague?
PAST MATERIALS & LINKS
PAST NEWS RELEASES
News releases may not be issued in every instance of suspected plague infection or plague-related pet death.
If you have health-related questions regarding plague, please call CDH at 327-8625. Please note that this number and email account are only staffed during weekdays between 8 am and 5 pm.
EMAIL Communicable Disease at CDH
Make your health a priority and attend a free health screening event! Screenings consist of a single finger poke to run a full lipid panel (Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL, Triglycerides, and Blood Glucose) and an A1C test. Screenings take approximately 20 minutes and participants will leave with a copy of their results. Know your numbers – Get Screened! No appointment necessary, at the Mountain Home Library.