This morning the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced that plague had been confirmed in an Adams County resident and their pet dog. Plague can cause high fever, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting in humans; it can be fatal to pets. Plague is spread by fleas on rodents, especially prairie dogs. The CDPHE advises avoiding handling rodents and keeping your dogs and cats away from rodents, alive or dead. If your pet develops fleas, take them to a veterinarian for treatment. And if you find dead prairie dogs, don’t try removing them yourself — call a professional. Our library has several resources you can use to find out more about plague, including the differences between bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague (the latter being the type confirmed in the Adams County resident). See the following fact sheets:
- Plague: Questions and Answers, from the CDPHE
- Fleas and Plague, from the Colorado State University Extension
- Recommendations for the Management, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Suspected Feline Plague Cases, from the CDPHE
- Plague: Guidelines for Emergency Departments and Health Care Providers, from the CDPHE
Also, be sure to visit the CDPHE’s Plague webpage, which includes fact sheets, links to data from the Centers for Disease Control, and statistics on plague in Colorado.