Public health officials are reporting plague among fleas in Fremont County in southern Colorado. The disease can spill over to other animals, pets and even humans.
The fleas tested positive for plague after being gathered from a prairie dog population that had died off. Jennifer House, with the state health department, urges residents to be watchful.
“If there is a sudden die off, particularly of prairie dogs or squirrels, they should report that to the local health department,” she says.
House says these cases could be linked to recent wet weather, which may have led to a boom in rodents. This is the second case of such an outbreak this year.
In June, a 16-year-old in Larimer County was killed by a rare version of the plague. For humans, symptoms include high fever, chills and tender lymph glands.
Health officials urge people avoid rodents and wear insect repellent.