ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico health officials say an eight-year-old boy has died after contracting bubonic plague and his 10-year-old sister, who also contracted the illness, is hospitalized and recovering.

The state Health Department announced the boy's death Thursday, saying the siblings' cases are the first human plague cases in the United States so far this year.

Health officials are conducting an environmental investigation at the family's Santa Fe County residence to determine if there is any ongoing risk to people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an average of 10 to 15 persons contract the plague each year in the United States.

Modern antibiotics are an effective treatment.

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