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Domestic animal in Larimer County tests positive for bubonic plague

rocky mountain arsenal wildlife refuge, closed bubonic plague
Posted at 12:57 PM, Nov 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-05 15:23:41-05

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Health officials in Larimer County announced on Sunday that a domestic animal in the Red Feather Lakes area has tested positive for the bubonic plague.

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) was notified of the test results on Wednesday, the LCDHE said in news release.

The health department said people known to have been exposed to the animal have been recommended for antibiotic treatment to prevent plague from developing.

Both humans and household animals can become infected with the bacterial infection without proper precautions.

Humans may become sick with the plague through bites from infected fleas. In humans, the symptoms are high fever, chills, headache, extreme fatigue and tender or swollen lymph glands.

It can be treated with antibiotics when diagnosed early. The risk of a person getting the plague is extremely low if they take precautions, such as:

  • The public shouldn’t attempt to catch, feed, handle, or exterminate prairie dogs or any type of squirrel, chipmunk, rabbit or other wild animal.
  • Pet owners should check with their veterinarian regarding tick and flea control for their pets. Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian.
  • Residents should also clear property of trash, lumber piles, and other areas where rodents and animals may live or hide.

LCDHE will continue to monitor Plague activity in the area and maintain communication as appropriate, the agency said.

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