Plague-infected bubonic plague was discovered in Colorado. This was announced on Tuesday by ABC, citing a statement by the Jefferson County health authorities.
The statement said the squirrel found on Saturday was the first animal in the county to be diagnosed with plague.
Jefferson County Department of Health said in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday that at least 15 dead squirrels had been spotted in Morrison. One of the corpses was tested for plague, the tests were positive, and it is assumed that the remaining proteins also died from the bubonic plague.
“Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and people and pets can become infected if proper precautions are not taken,” the Jefferson County authorities said in a statement.
People can become infected with bubonic plague from flea bites that transmit the disease, or through direct contact with the blood or tissues of infected animals, including coughing or biting. According to the Jefferson County Department of Health, cats are especially susceptible to the plague and may die from infection if they do not receive antibiotic treatment on time. Dogs are not as susceptible to the plague, however, they can be carriers of the disease.
Symptoms of the plague include a sudden fever, chills, headache, nausea, severe pain and swelling of the lymph nodes that occur within two to seven days after infection. With early diagnosis, plague can be effectively treated with antibiotics, the county authorities said, recommending everyone with these symptoms to seek medical attention in a timely manner.