Plague Investigation Launched in Pueblo County as Rare Case Emerges – What You Need to Know!

PUEBLO, CO – Pueblo County, Colorado, is currently under investigation by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for a rare case of plague, following initial test results, officials announced.

Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and transmitted by fleas, has historically been a deadly disease, but advancements in treatment have improved outcomes. While human-to-human transmission of bubonic plague is rare, there are an average of seven human plague cases reported in the United States each year, with most occurring in the western states, particularly in northern New Mexico and Arizona.

A recent case of human plague was confirmed in rural Oregon, where health officials suspect the individual contracted the disease from a pet cat. Fortunately, early identification and treatment of the case posed minimal risk to the community.

Symptoms of bubonic plague include swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting, typically appearing one to seven days after exposure. The disease can spread through flea bites, contact with infected animals, or inhaling droplets from infected individuals or animals.

Treatment for plague involves prompt administration of antibiotics, which can prevent serious complications or death. According to health experts, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in saving lives.

While there is no widely available vaccine for plague, improved sanitation, living conditions, and healthcare have contributed to a decrease in the incidence of the disease. Plague primarily affects rural and semirural areas in the Western United States, where rodent populations are abundant and varied.

Around the world, plague cases are most common in Africa, with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, and Peru being the three most endemic countries. The Pueblo County Public Health Department offers preventive measures such as eliminating rodent habitats, avoiding contact with dead animals, treating pets for fleas, and seeking immediate medical attention if symptoms of plague develop.

In conclusion, as investigations continue in Pueblo County, it is essential for individuals to be aware of the symptoms of plague, take preventive measures, and seek prompt medical care if needed to mitigate the spread of the disease.