2nd plague death reported in Colorado, USA
This is the second plague death reported in Colorado in 2015
An unidentified person from Pueblo County, Colorado, died of the plague Tuesday.
“The case occurred in a rural area of southwestern Pueblo County and at this point public health inspectors are out testing the areas,” said Sarah Joseph, public information officer for the Pueblo City-County Health Department. “Testing is either of animals that have recently passed away, like prairie dogs, or fleas that can be caught.”
According to a report published by the Pueblo City-County Health Department, the Colorado resident who died of the disease was an adult who is thought to have contracted the disease from exposure to rodents, fleas or dead animals.
It is the second person to die of the disease in the state this year, according to the AP.
The plague is normally spread through concentrated rodent populations. Rodents like rats and mice are known carriers of the fleas that cause the plague itself.
Oftentimes, the Pueblo Country Health Department reports, plague incidences are preceded by mass animal die-offs.
“The main thing the health department is doing is letting the public know to protect themselves and their pets from fleas that carry the disease,” Joseph said. “Today and tomorrow public health staff will put up signs in the affected area.”
Health experts advise individuals to avoid dead animals, to treat clothing with insect repellent when hiking, to prevent pets from roaming and to avoid sharing a bed with pets. Plague victims normally exhibit symptoms, which include swollen lymph nodes, fever and chills, within a two-six day period.
“The key to treating the plague is catching it in time,” Joseph said. “Patients have to get treatment in a timely manner, and physicians have to identify it in time.”
On average seven human plague cases are reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Courtesy of usatoday.com