Squirrel Tests Positive For Bubonic Plague In Colorado

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On average, seven human plagues cases are reported in the United States each year.

A squirrel found in Colorado tested positive for the bubonic plague, according to Jefferson County health officials.

  • The Hill reported on Tuesday that the animal was discovered in the Town of Morrison, which is just west of Denver, and tested positive for the disease on Saturday.
  • Health officials warned that humans can contract the bubonic plague from household animals without “proper precautions” in place.
  • According to the report, health officials have recommended “the public eliminate all sources of food, shelter and access for wild animals around their homes.”
  • Officials also urged the public to “not feed wild animals, maintain litter- and trash-free yards to reduce wild animal habitats, and avoid contact with sick or dead wild animals and rodents.”
  • Humans can become infected “bites from infected fleas or by direct contact with blood or tissue of infected animals,” The Hill reported.
  • Cats are particularly susceptible to the bubonic plague, which “is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis,” and “may die if not promptly treated with antibiotics.”

An average of seven human plague cases have been reported in the U.S. each year, a range of one to 17 cases per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control data from 1970 to 2018.

Read the full report.


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