Seven US counties under plague warning as experts say prairie dogs are good indicator of outbreak
Health authorities in Colorado are warning residents in seven counties to be on guard against the re-emergence of plague in the region.
Though not nearly as fatal as it was in medieval times – when it killed an estimated 50 million people – the disease can still be deadly in the modern era. This year's bout of plague has already killed a 10-year-old girl in the state.
The plague returns to Colorado every summer, generally carried by fleas before being passed along to small animals and in some generally rare cases, humans. This year, San Miguel County, El Paso County, Boulder County, Huerfano County, Adams County and La Plate County have all reported cases of the plague.
The girl who died reportedly raised hogs, according to The Durango Herald. It is not known definitively whether fleas leapt from her hogs to her and passed along the infection.
Health authorities began scrambling to collect and test fleas after a group of Coloradans reported that a local prairie dog colony had disappeared, according to The Colorado Sun.
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment notes that prairie dogs are especially susceptible to plague. Whenever a population of the animals goes silent during the summer, it is a warning to Colorado health authorities that plague has potentially returned.
The CDPHE has asked Coloradans not to kill the rodents, as it could increase the risk of transmitting the plague.
“If you notice decreased rodent activity in an area where you normally see active rodents, contact your local public health agency,” the CDPHE said.
Plague can be transmitted to a human through the bite of an infected flea or through direct contact with infected animals.
Plague can be difficult to pinpoint initially, as its symptoms are similar to other illnesses, like the flu or the coronavirus. The infected may develop a cough, fever and swollen lymph nodes.
Thankfully, if the plague is caught early, it can be treated with available medicine. If left untreated, however, it can cause further illnesses and death.
On average, seven humans become infected with the plague each year, and the infections are generally located in New Mexico and Colorado.
Plague – sometimes called the “Black Death” – is believed to have arrived in the Americas by way of rats that had infested steam ships travelling between Asia and North America.
Once the ships moored in American harbours, the rats would sneak off and begin to spread the disease.
Today, the plague is almost entirely contained within a rural region of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Reference: Independent: Graig Graziosi
Articles - Latest
- Fossil footprints show humans in North America 11,000 years earlier than previously thought
- La Palma volcano: More dangers ahead for island after eruption
- Sarah Dash, singer with Labelle, who had a worldwide hit with the raunchy Lady Marmalade – obituary
- Melvin Van Peebles dead: Pioneer filmmaker of the Blaxploitation genre dies aged 89
- SpaceX capsule with world's first all-civilian orbital crew splashes down off Florida
- Anthony Johnson dead: Lethal Weapon star dies aged 55 after being found lifeless in a shop
- Eszter Jeles dead: Tragedy in racing as 21-year-old female jockey is fatally injured
- When A Parisian Canal Aged Two-Hundred Years Was Drained, No One Could Believe What Was In There
- Scientists launch plan to resurrect extinct woolly mammoths in the Arctic
- Home computer pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81
- X Factor singer Freddie Combs dies aged 49 from kidney failure
- Vera Fusek, actress who played the Earth President in Doctor Who – obituary
- Michael Constantine dies aged 94
- Deepwater Horizon: Oysters off the Gulf of Mexico plagued with tissue abnormalities after 2010 oil spill
- Jean-Paul Belmondo, star of Breathless, dies aged 88
- Female kickboxer, 26, died from a blow to the head at match
- Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud dies aged 39
- Daffney Unger dies aged 46 after concerning live stream
- Richard E Grant's wife of 35 years dies aged 71
- 14 of the most dramatic scenes as floods pummel New York and tornadoes rip through New Jersey
Articles - Most Read
- Contact Us
- Cosmic Consciousness - What is Cosmic Consciousness-2
- Cosmic Consciousness-Introduction
- Cosmic Consciousness - Introduction-2
- Cosmic Consciousness - What is Cosmic Consciousness?
- Cosmic Consciousness First Words - 1V - 2
- The Human Condition-Thomas Keating
- Cosmic Consciousness First Words - V -
- Cosmic Consciousness V - 2
- Cosmic consciousness - First Words - IV
- Cosmic Consciousness-On the Plane of Self Consciousness
- Drinking From The Mountain Stream - Milarepa
- The Human Condition - 4
- Evolution and Devolution-Chapter 2
- The Human Condition - Thomas keating-3
- The Human Condition-2-Thomas Keating
- Evolution and Devolution-Chapter 1
- Cosmic Consciousness - 3 - On the Plane of Self Consciousness
- The Human Condition - 6
- Milarepa's World
- Web Links
- On the Plane of Self Consciousness - 2
- The Human Condition - 5
- Milarepa's World-2
- The Buddhist System of Liberation
- On the Plane of Self Consciousness IV
- On the Plane of Self Consciousness IV - 2
- The Buddhist System of Liberation - 2
- Contemplation and the Divine Therapy - 2