×
A Squirrel Tests Positive For Bubonic Plague In Colorado, Health Officials Warn

A Squirrel Tests Positive For Bubonic Plague In Colorado, Health Officials Warn

Someone reported seeing at least 15 dead squirrels around the Colorado town. After one of the dead squirrels was tested, it was found positive and experts believe the other 14 are infected too.

The first case of bubonic plague in the US this year has been found, even as the deadly coronavirus continues to wreak havoc. According to a report by ABC, a squirrel in Colorado has tested positive for the bubonic plague. The results came back on July 11 in the town of Morrison, according to a press release from the Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) department.



 

 

A spokesperson of JCPH told CBS News that someone from Morrison reported seeing at least 15 dead squirrels around the town. After one of the dead squirrels was tested, it was found positive and experts believe the other 14 are infected too. In a statement, the officials also warned that it is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria Yersinia pestis, which can be contracted by humans and household animals.



 

 

Cats are highly susceptible to the plague as they can catch it from a flea bite, rodent bite, or from ingesting an infected rodent. Meanwhile, dogs are not susceptible to the disease. Officials advise pet owners who live near wild animal populations to consult a doctor in case their pets fall ill. 



 

 

Most of us have learned about this deadly disease in our history lessons. The bubonic plague has been around for centuries and is responsible for one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. Also known as the Black Death, an estimated 50 million people lost their lives in Europe alone during the middle ages. JCPH has also issued a warning to the public saying that it can affect both humans and animals alike if proper precautions are not taken. 



 

 

The disease is primarily transmitted through flea bites and infected animals, but modern medicine and antibiotics are seen to prevent complications and death if treated quickly enough. Even then, the bubonic plague still poses a major threat to all of us. Some major symptoms of the disease are swollen lymph node, fever, chills, and coughing. On July 7, the Chinese authorities confirmed that a case of bubonic plague was recorded in inner Mongolia



 

 

The local authorities in the town of Bayannur issued a citywide warning shortly after it was confirmed and the safety measures will be followed for the rest of the year. This plague has recently made a comeback and WHO (World Health Organization) has categorized it as a re-emerging disease. Every year, there are around 1,000 to 2,000 cases, but this number might not be correct as there are multiple other unreported cases too. 



 

 

The US report shows a few dozen cases every year, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and two people died from the plague in Colorado back in 2015. But the risk of contracting the disease is low if proper precautions are taken. Eliminate all sources of food, shelter, and access for wild animals around the home, avoid feeding wild animals, maintain a clean and trash-free yard using precaution when handling sick pets, having them examined by a veterinarian, and finally, consulting a veterinarian about flea and tick control.

Recommended for you