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February 1989

Human Plague—United States, 1988

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(2):145-146. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150140027014

AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 14 nonfatal cases of human plague had been reported in the United States during 1988. Ten cases were in males, and patients' ages ranged from 8 to 82 years. Each resulted from exposure to sources of wild rodent plague in the western United States: four cases were acquired in Colorado, six in New Mexico, two in California, and one each in Arizona and Texas.

Some of the cases presented interesting epidemiologic and/or clinical features:

Case 3. Illness in a 12-year-old Zuni Indian boy was diagnosed promptly as plague and treated with oral tetracycline and intravenous gentamicin. He appeared to recover until the sixth day after onset, when he had headaches and recurrence of fever. Physical examination revealed spinal rigidity, and plague meningitis was diagnosed. The boy then was given chloramphenicol and has recovered.

Case 7. A 19-year-old male Army recruit had received 0.1 mL Plague Vaccine,

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