Squirrel tests positive for bubonic plague in Colorado



Public health officials say a squirrel in Colorado has tested positive for bubonic plague.


The city of Morrison, Colorado, in Jefferson County, west of Denver, has made the shocking announcement that Squirrel County has the first case of plague.

A public statement issued by Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) officials said, "Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and can be transmitted to humans and pets if proper care is not taken."

Bubonic plague can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected flea and by direct contact with the blood or tissues of infected animals, such as coughs or bites.

Jefferson County Public Health said cats are more likely to get plague from things like flea bites, rat scratches or bites and take infected rats. Cats can die if they are not treated quickly with antibiotics after being infected with the plague.

Dogs are less likely to be infected with the plague because of the presence of cats, but infected rats can catch flies, officials said. Any pet owner who suspects their pet is sick should contact a vet immediately.

“Symptoms of the plague include high fever, chills, headache, nausea and severe pain and swelling of the lymph nodes within two to seven days of exposure. Plague can be effectively treated with antibiotics when initially diagnosed. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should consult a physician, ”said JCPH.

The risk of dealing with bubonic plague is minimal until proper precautions are taken and JCPH publishes a list of them, eliminating all sources of food, shelter, and wildlife around the home, not eating wildlife means keeping food from swimming. Garbage-free yard to reduce wildlife habitat, people and pets should avoid all contact with sick or dead wild animals and rats, handle precautionary care when using sick pets and have a veterinarian inspect them, consult a vet with flea and tick control for pets and pets Prevent them from turning freely, where they can hunt wild animals and bring the disease home with them.

"All pets that live close to wildlife populations, such as prairie dog colonies or other known wildlife habitat, should consult their veterinarian about flea control to transfer flea to humans for their pets. Help prevent this."

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According to the CDC, even if the plague is not vaccinated, it can be successfully treated with antibiotics if caught within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

According to National Geographic, "the most notorious plague outbreak was the so-called Black Death, a multi-century epidemic that swept across Asia and Europe." "It is believed to have originated in China in the 1334s, spread by trade routes, and reached Europe via the ports of Sicily in the late 1340s. The plague killed 25 percent of the continent's population. The Black Death continued for centuries, especially in the cities. It killed 70,000 residents. "

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However, the CDC estimates that there are now only seven human plague cases per year on average, and the WHO estimates that the death rate is between 8-10%.

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