Squirrel tests positive for bubonic plague in Colorado
A squirrel in Colorado has tested positive for bubonic plague, public-health officials there say.
The squirrel, found in the Denver suburb of Morrison, is the first known plague case in Jefferson County, the county’s health department stated on its website Sunday.
Earlier this month, China and Mongolia confirmed a total of three human cases of plague.
Bubonic plague famously ravaged Europe in the 1300s, earning the name The Black Death — and it never completely went away. It now can be effectively treated with antibiotics, particularly when caught early.
People typically get plague from fleas that have it, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Humans also can be infected through contact with infected animals, such as rodents and cats, as well as through contact with infected humans.
Plague symptoms include the “sudden onset of fever, headache, chills and weakness, and one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes,” the CDC says. Lymph nodes can swell to the size of chicken eggs.
We have an abundance of squirrels around the our yard due to having the walnut an oak trees. I shall have to inform them that if they visit relatives in the trees of Colorado they will have to quarantine for 14 days when they return. Maybe I should stop by Petsmart and buy a load of flea collars and put them on our squirrels.