Human plague case confirmed in Colorado
2 mins read

Human plague case confirmed in Colorado

Human plague case confirmed in Colorado

Colorado health officials confirmed a case of human plague in the state on Tuesday.

The infection, which occurred in Pueblo County in the southern part of the state, was first reported Friday based on preliminary test results, while the source of the infection is still being investigated.

“Plague can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but an infected person must be treated promptly to avoid serious complications or death,” Alicia Solis, program manager for the Office of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Preparedness for the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a news release announcing the case.

“We advise all individuals to protect themselves and their pets from the plague,” she added.

This isn’t Colorado’s first case of plague: The state has had 67 cases between 1970 and 2022, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States, an average of seven cases of human plague are reported each year.

Worldwide, 3,248 human cases of plague were reported between 2010 and 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

Unfortunately, “there is no longer a plague vaccine available in the United States,” the CDC notes. “New plague vaccines are in development but are not expected to be commercially available in the near future.”

Caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, plague is an infectious disease usually transmitted by fleas. Once called the “Black Death,” which killed millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages, plague circulates naturally among wild rodents and rarely infects humans today.

The CDC recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms of plague see their doctor immediately. Typical symptoms include sudden fever and chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and, typically, swollen and painful lymph nodes.

What can people do to avoid infection?

One way to do this is to eliminate places where wild rodents can exist near humans, such as brush, rock piles, trash and wood piles around homes, garages, sheds and recreation areas, Colorado health officials say.

Taking precautions around pets can also reduce the risk of transmission. Health officials recommend treating dogs and cats for fleas, storing pet food in rodent-proof containers, and not allowing pets to roam areas frequented by rodents or sleep in your bed.

More information:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on the plague.

© 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Quote:Human Plague Case Confirmed in Colorado (July 10, 2024) Retrieved July 10, 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-07-case-human-plague-colorado.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.