Health officials in Colorado on Thursday urged residents to be cautious around local wildlife after lab reports confirmed the presence of plague in animals and fleas from six counties.
The warning comes after a 10-year-old resident recently died from complications of the disease, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The state’s last plague-related death was in 2015, the Denver Post reports.
“We are so sad for the loss of this young Coloradan and our deepest condolences go to the family,” Dr. Jennifer House, of the health department, said of the child’s death in early July. “Public Health is doing an epidemiological investigation and wants Coloradans to know that while this disease is very rare, it does occur sometimes, and to seek medical care if you have symptoms.”
Plague is a broad disease that spreads through a variety of animals, including rodents, flies and humans. The disease comes from Yersinia pestis bacteria, a bacteria which can be found all over the world. There are three forms of plague: bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.
Colorado health officials said an uptick in plague is expected during this time of year and is not a cause of great concern if the proper precautions are taken. Two human cases of plague were reported in Colorado in the last five years, according to…