The child, who has not been publicly identified, was treated with antibiotics in hospital and is currently recovering back home in Elmore County, Idaho. He became ill towards the end of May and, more recently, health authorities received laboratory confirmation that he had bubonic plague.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of the disease include headache, fever and chills, and extreme weakness. The CDC also states that those with bubonic plague may experience swollen lymph nodes, and those with pneumonic plague may experience pneumonia along with chest pain, coughing and difficulty breathing.
“People can decrease their risk by treating their pets for fleas and avoiding contact with wildlife," said Sarah Correll, an epidemiologist with the Central District Health Department. "Wear insect repellent, long pants and socks when visiting plague-affected areas."
To help prevent plague, the CDC advises travellers to wear gloves if they are handling or skinning potentially infected animals to prevent contact between their skin and the plague bacteria, use repellent if they think they could be exposed to rodent fleas during activities such as camping, hiking or working outdoors and not allow dogs or cats that roam free in endemic areas to sleep on their bed.