Two cases of plague have been reported in New Mexico, bringing the total for the state in 2017 up to three.
There have been three human plague cases reported in Santa Fe County this year, so far, and all patients were hospitalized.
Without treatment, plague causes death in about 60 to 90 percent of cases, according to a recent paper from the CDC. State health officials investigated the homes of the women this weekend looking for signs of the plague bacteria.
On average, seven cases of the human plague are reported annually in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics share by MSN. However, it can be treated with antibiotics.
Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents, and humans generally contract the disease when bitten by infected fleas. Plague can be present in fleas that infest wild rodents in Santa Fe County, including the city limits of Santa Fe, and several other New Mexico counties.
New Mexico had four human plague cases in 2016 with no fatalities.
NMDOH recommends protecting pets by using safe flea control, taking them to a veterinarian promptly, and keeping their food and water away from areas with mice.
The Department of Health is warning residents to take precautions to reduce exposure to carriers of plague.
Unexplained illness producing sudden high fevers should be seen by a doctor, NMDOH said, while sick pets should be seen by a veterinarian. There are also an average of seven cases of the bubonic plague recorded in the USA each year. Four people also contracted the disease in 2015, which resulted in one death.
Yersinia pestis, or plague, had been blamed for killing millions of people in Asia and Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire.