The Plague - A Zoonotic Disease Case in Colorado

In Jefferson County, Colorado, a domestic cat tested positive for the plague. Plague is a bacterial disease that is transmitted by fleas. Common host of the plague include a variety of rodents, but the disease can spread to other warm-blooded animals such as cats, dogs, or even humans. People who come into contact with infected animals such as rabbits, cats, or rodents can be exposed to the disease.

According to Public health officials, there are a few ways that you can help to keep your pet and yourself safe. For example, do not feed wildlife such as squirrels or other small rodents. This will increase the risk of other animals coming into the area which then can increase the risk of transmitting the disease. Try to prevent your dog or cat from chasing, catching or eating squirrels, rabbits or other small rodents. If you live in an area where rodents are common, make sure your home or any buildings are rodent-proof.
You should also be sure to keep your pet in your yard or on a leash, and do not allow them to roam. Make sure to treat your pet with flea preventative as discussed with your veterinarian. If at any time you notice a large number of dead rodents or small animals, please report this to local public health officials, as it can indicate a disease is present. If at any time you develop a fever or fall ill after handling dead rodents or rabbits, or after a flea bite, please contact your doctor.
For more information on this potential zoonotic disease threat, please see the original article on 9 News.
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