Thursday, July 25, 2024

Case of human plague found in Colorado

Must read

PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV/Gray News) – Public health officials are investigating a case of human plague in Colorado based on preliminary test results.

Health officials said the plague bacterium can be transmitted by fleas and wild rodents. Plague occurs naturally, and it can affect humans and their pets.

Common ways to attract the plague are through infected flea bites, touching infected animals (prairie dogs, squirrels, rats, and rabbits), and inhaling droplets from the cough of an infected person or animal.

Common symptoms of plague include sudden fever and chills, severe headaches, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting.

Health officials said plague can be treated successfully with antibiotics, but an infected person must be treated quickly to avoid serious complications or death.

Common forms of plague include bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic plague, though health officials did not specify which form was found in Pueblo.

Health officials listed some ways for people to protect themselves and their pets from the plague:

  • Eliminate places where rodents can hide and breed around your home, garage, shed or recreation area. Remove brush, rock piles, trash and piles of lumber.
  • Avoid contact with dead animals. If you must handle sick or dead animals follow these guidelines.
  • First, put on an insect repellant to protect yourself from fleas. Then use a long-handled shovel to place it in a garbage bag. Lastly, place the bag in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Use insect repellent that contains 20%-30% DEET to prevent flea bites. Treat pants, socks, shoe tops, arms, and legs.
  • Do not let pets sleep in bed with you.
  • Treat dogs and cats for fleas regularly. Flea collars have not been proven effective.
  • Do not allow pets to hunt or roam in rodent areas, such as prairie dog colonies.
  • Keep pet food in rodent-proof containers.

Latest article