State officials say they've discovered the first human case of the plague in New Mexico since 2017.
According to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Health, the deadly disease was contracted by a 72-year-old man who lives in Torrance County. The NMDOH sent agents out to go door-to-door in the area and warn local residents about reducing their risk of exposure to the disease.
Plague is caused by a bacterium that's generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas that live among rodents and rabbits. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with infected pets and animals. Symptoms of plague include sudden onset of a fever, chills, headache and weakness, usually within one to seven days of becoming infected. A painful swelling of the lymph nodes might also be experienced.
“No matter where you call home in New Mexico, you can reduce the risk of plague by avoiding contact with rodents or their fleas, or outdoor pets by providing appropriate flea prevention for pets year-round,” said Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel.
Students Call For Suicide Prevention
During last week's Albuquerque Public Schools board meeting, more than 100 Eldorado High School students made an appearance to call for improvements in the mental health resources made available at local schools.
According to KOAT, a number of students and teachers spoke at the meeting, highlighting that eight suicides have been committed by Eldorado students in recent years. The group demanded change, and APS officials made it clear that they'd been heard.
APS Student and Support Director Kris Meurer said the district is receiving $361,000 from Bernalillo County over the next two years to fund programs that address the suicide problem. Meurer said some of the suggestions presented at the meeting by students could be implemented, like peer-to-peer counseling. Some of these new programs will be starting soon.
APS said it will not be hiring a licensed therapist to operate on the school grounds, however, because it wasn't approved as part of the funding project.
Epstein Company Seeks Land Leases
A company owned by the late Jeffrey Epstein is asking a judge to reverse the cancellation of grazing contracts near Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in Southern Santa Fe County.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a petition was filed in state District Court on behalf of Cypress Inc. last week, alleging that New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard’s decision to cancel two leasing contracts held by the company in September violated state law.
Cypress Inc. claims the state land commissioner failed to give the company 30 days to address any alleged violations, as is required by law. The petition also says cancellation of the lease contracts will decrease the property’s value.
Cypress Inc. is requesting a court order to prevent termination of the land leases.