LA PAZ – Bolivia’s public health authorities declared the province of La Paz on epidemiological alert owing to an outbreak of bubonic plague detected in communities along the border with Peru, the government said Tuesday.
The provincial head of epidemiology, Rene Barrientos, told the media that a boy of 14 has died of the illness and another three suspected cases have been found in the municipality of Apolo, in the northern part of the region.
The alert was declared to take action in the area and “avoid there being more victims and to keep the illness from leading to pneumonic plague,” which, unlike bubonic plague, can be transmitted orally, Barrientos said.
Bubonic plague affects rodents like rats and hares and is transmitted by vectors like fleas, but never person to person.
It causes fever and inflammation of the ganglia, and can be life-threatening if it gets into the bloodstream.
At the beginning of August an outbreak of bubonic plague was reported in the northern Peruvian province of Ascope, where up to now one person has died and around 30 have been affected, between confirmed and probable cases. EFE