A squirrel was found infected with the bubonic plague in Jeffco, in Colorado, Jefferson County Public Health said in a news release.
According to 9News, this is the latest in the county’s increasing plague activities. The squirrel was found in the town of Morrisons, Jeffco county’s first case according to the news release, but where the animal was found is unknown.
Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection that caused the ‘Black Death’ pandemic in the 14th century, killing at least 50 million people.
Bubonic plague primarily spreads through vector animals like small rodents and fleas. According to the World Health Organiation, the zoonotic disease spreads from species to species and is capable of being transmitted to humans.
The news comes shortly after reports about a few human fatalities from the bubonic plague surfaced from Mongolia. A third-level alert was ringed by the authorities following infection of a few people in a row. Most of them consumed infected marmot meat, a rodent that can carry deadly bacteria.
Jefferson County Public Health in the news release warned for a potential spread to humans from infected animals. The release said, it “can be contracted by humans and household animals if proper precautions are not taken.” A person might contact the infection if bit by an infected flea or other animals, carriers of the disease.
The infection is also spread from person to person, similarly to the COVID-19, through respiratory droplets while coughing and sneezing. The release emphasized that cats are more suspectable of picking up the plague from fleas, rodents and can even die if left untreated. But dogs are not so prone, despite they can carry the plague and get ill. Pet owners must contact venerations upon noticing symptoms.
What are the symptoms of bubonic plague
WHO states the plague bacteria usually takes 3-7 days to incubate in a person. Initial symptoms are influenza-like- vomiting, nausea, chills, fever, weakness, and ache, which can rapidly aggregate into fatal conditions if left untreated. Find out more detailed info about the disease here. The good news is that good supportive treatment and antibiotics can be immensely helpful in recovery if dosed on time.