Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
New Mexico: Rare Plague Surfacing in More Affluent Areas
Although the plague is typically considered a remnant of the Middle Ages, when unsanitary conditions and rodent infestations prevailed amid the squalor of poverty, this rare but deadly disease appears to be spreading through wealthier communities in New Mexico, researchers report. Why the plague is popping up in affluent neighborhoods isn't completely clear, the experts added. "Where human plague cases occur is linked to where people live and how people interact with their environment," noted lead researcher Anna Schotthoefer, from the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin. "These factors may change over time, necessitating periodic reassessments of the factors that put people at risk." This latest study confirms previous reports that living within or close to the natural environments that support plague is a risk factor for human plague, Schotthoefer said. About 11 cases of plague a year have occurred in the United States since 1976, with most cases found in New Mexico. Plague has also been reported in a handful of other states. Although many cases were in areas where the habitat supports rodents and fleas, the researchers also found cases occurring in more upper-class neighborhoods. In the 1980s, most cases occurred where housing conditions were poor, but more recently cases have been reported in affluent areas of Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the investigators found. "The shift from poorer to more affluent regions of New Mexico was a surprise, and suggests that homeowners in these newly developed areas should be educated about the risks of plague," Schotthoefer said...more