Truth Frequency Radio
Jul 18, 2014

This undated picture provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows prairie dogs.Three more cases of plague identified in Colorado

By Anthony Cotton
The Denver Post

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Friday that three additional cases of plague have been diagnosed in Colorado.

Officials said the newest cases are related to an incident about eight days ago, in which the owner of a dog who had died had also contracted the illness.

The dog likely was exposed to a prairie dog or rabbit with plague-infected fleas in eastern Adams County.

The three latest patients all had contact with the same dog, with two of the three contracting pneumonic plague, as did the initial patient. Dr. Jennifer House, the department’s public health veterinarian,said the fourth case did not reach that level.

House added that the three latest patients were treated with antibiotics and had recovered; the initial patient is still hospitalized.

Officials said the initial case was the first instance of pneumonic plague in a human in Colorado in 10 years; the names of any of the patients or specific details from the cases have not been released.

“But we believe the exposure to be over,” House said.

Plague is spread by fleas from rodents, most commonly prairie dogs. Flea samples recently collected from eastern Adams County tested positive for plague bacteria. Tri-County Health Department staff members have gone door-to-door in the area with information about plague and to assess prairie dog populations. People and pets walking in open spaces and trails should avoid contact with prairie dogs, rabbits and other rodents.

Anthony Cotton: 303-954-1292, [email protected] or