Taylor Gaes, 16, died this month after contracting a rare strain of the bubonic plague, reports the Coloradoan. Health officials have indicated that their investigation of Gaes' death is ongoing, but it seems he was exposed to the plague by fleas on a dead rodent.
Gaes was a pitcher and quarterback at Poudre High School, reported Denver Post, and he died one day after his 16th birthday. His baseball coach told the paper that he had the potential for a "brilliant sports career."
Larimer County health officials say that the last time the plague was confirmed in the county was 1999. They ask that people who were at the Gaes' home this month be vigilant for fever, a symptom that may indicate infection.