July 14, 2020 – After a squirrel tested positive for bubonic plague in the town of Morrison, Colorado, health officials warn that the disease can be contracted by pets and people.
Humans can be infected by flea bites, coughing from an infected animal, or by direct contact with the blood or tissue of an infected animal, public health officials in Jefferson County said in a statement: CBS News reported.
But they added that the risk “of contracting the plague is extremely low as long as precautions are taken,” the statement said.
Officials advised pet owners who live near wildlife populations or suspect their pets are sick to consult a veterinarian, CBS News reported.
“Currently, human plague infections continue to occur in rural areas of the western United States, but many more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia,” said the Centers. for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.
If left untreated, the plague can be fatal in up to 90% of cases, but modern antibiotics are effective in treating it, according to the CDC.
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