Volume 25, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



An 11-year-old boy developed axillary bubonic plague and plague meningitis 3 days after skinning a dead coyote near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The coyote carcass was recovered 10 days later, and was isolated from spleen and marrow of the animal. This is the first report of human plague from exposure to a coyote. A review of experimental and epidemiologic studies suggests that severe plague infection in members of the family Canidae is unusual, and that the risk of acquiring plague from direct contact with coyote tissues is minimal. Nevertheless, certain precautions are outlined for persons working with wild coyotes.


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