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Colorado Plague Victim Dead; It's 2nd Death, 4th Case in State

Image: Colorado Plague Victim Dead; It's 2nd Death, 4th Case in State
Health officials are investigating Colorado's second plague death. (Stringer/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 07 Aug 2015 06:23 AM

A second Colorado plague victim was identified by Pueblo County health officials on Wednesday and officials continued to urge residents to avoid dead rodents and other animals to keep the disease from spreading.

Pueblo City-County Health Department officials only described the plague victim as a male, reported the Denver Post. Earlier this year, a 16-year-old student in Larimer County died from a rare strain of what was called a rare strain of the septicemic plague.

In the latest death, health department officials told KUSA-TV they believe the victim possibly came in contact with fleas on a dead rodent or another animal that carried the bacteria. The case continued to be investigated by Pueblo officials and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

"This highlights the importance to protect yourself and your pets from the exposure of fleas that carry plague," Sylvia Proud, Pueblo's city-county public health director told CNN.

Pueblo County officials told CNN that a dead prairie dog found in the western part of the county has been the only animal in the area confirmed to have the plague.

Health officials told the Post that officials have identified four cases of the plague in the state this year. One was identified in Boulder County and the other in Denver.

Along with the cases in Colorado, the California Department of Public Health announced on Thursday that a child who camped in Yosemite National Park and visited Stanislaus National Forest in mid-July was diagnosed with the plague, reported CNN.

The child has been hospitalized and is recovering, while it appears that no one else in the child's camping party was infected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the plague is called by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and humans often get it from being bitten by an infected rodent flea.

The plague killed millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages, but modern antibiotics have proven effective in treating plague, noted the CDC. Human plague infections have occurred in the western United States, but the bulk of plague cases have happened in parts of Africa and Asia.

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A second Colorado plague victim was identified by Pueblo County health officials on Wednesday and officials continued to urge residents to avoid dead rodents and other animals to keep the disease from spreading.
colorado, plague, victim, death
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2015-23-07
Friday, 07 Aug 2015 06:23 AM
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