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September 20, 1976

Medical News

JAMA. 1976;236(12):1333-1339. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270130003001

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Human plague reports suggest unusual incidence this year  This is already the second worst year in recent times for human plague. If this year's trend continues, the United States will record more cases than last year when there were 20—the highest single-year total in 50 years (JAMA MEDICAL NEWS 236:435 [Aug 2] 1976).There are already 15 known cases, including three fatalities, all in the Western part of the country. New Mexico, especially the area around Sandia Mountain near Albuquerque, has been hardest hit. The state has reported eight cases and two of the fatalities.Alan Barnes, MD, of the vector-borne disease branch of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Ft Collins, Colo, says that human plague tends to be cyclical, and that this seems to be a periodic upswing in incidence.Changes of climate account for some patterns in spread of the disease, according to Dr Barnes. The