A Colorado star high school athlete has died from a rare form of plague he likely contracted from fleas, health officials said.
Taylor Thomas Gaes died earlier this month of septicemic plague.
The 16-year-old may have picked up the fast-moving bacterial infection after coming in contact with a dead rodent or other animal, according to doctors.
Health officials are seeking others who may have been on his family’s property and who may be at risk for the disease.
The teenager was in good health until June 4 when he appeared to be coming down with the flu. He died four days later on the way to the hospital. His death came a day after his 16th birthday.
An average of seven human plague cases are reported in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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