New Mexico health officials say two women, in their 50s and 60s, were diagnosed and hospitalized with the plague this week. Theo Heimann/Getty

Two women, ages 52 and 62, were diagnosed with the plague in New Mexico this week, health officials say.

The New Mexico Health Department says the two women in Santa Fe County, N.M. were both hospitalized as a result of contracting confirmed symptoms of the human plague. Their diagnoses make them the second and third cases of the disease being found in the state this year. A 63-year-old man contracted the plague earlier this month in New Mexico.

Although all three had been hospitalized, none of the cases have been fatal. Health officials said they are investigating the homes of the patients in order to determine if rodents, fleas or another animal may be spreading the disease.

What Are The Symptoms Of The Plague? How Do You Treat The Plague?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the plague is a disease that affects humans and mammals and is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans typically start seeing plague conditions after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected –deal or alive -- with plague. The disease is most famous for wiping out millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Symptoms of the plague, which is divided into three groups -- bubonic, septicemic or pneumonic -- all begin with fever-like aches and pains. According to the Mayo Clinic, bubonic is the most common form, which is specifically noted for the presence of swollen lymph nodes developing on the groin, armpit or neck within a week of being infected. The swelling is about the size of a chicken egg and is tender and warm to the touch.

Other signs and symptoms may include: Sudden onset of fever and chills, headache fatigue and general muscle aches.

Although the plague can be treated using antibiotics, the CDC says the key is still recognizing the symptoms early and receiving treatment immediately. The disease can still become life-threatening without quick and proper care. It can also be transmitted through infectious droplets, such as those from coughing or sneezing in a close-quarters situation. However, flea bites and contact with contaminated tissue is the most common form of transmitting plague.

Today, a significant amount of cases are found in Africa, parts of Asia and regions of the Western United States. The CDC said there’s an average of about seven cases per year reported in the U.S. The majority have occurred in New Mexico, northwestern Arizona and southern Colorado. There are also an average of seven cases of the bubonic plague recorded in the U.S. each year.

In 2015, there was an increase in U.S. cases, with 16 reported and even fourth deaths. In New Mexico, there were four cases reported last year with no fatalities, and four were recorded in 2015, including one lethal case.