Squirrel tests positive for Bubonic Plague in Colorado


Health officials in a county near Denver have identified a case of Bubonic Plague in a squirrel. The positive test came in Jefferson County.

According to health officials, Plague can spread to humans or animals through direct contact or bites from infected fleas.

Symptoms in humans include sudden fever, chills, extreme pain and nausea, and a headache. Risk of contracting plague is extremely low for humans, however, it can severely effect cats and sometimes dog.

Here are the precautions encouraged by Jefferson County Public Health:

- Eliminate all sources of food, shelter and access for wild animals around the home.
- Do not feed wild animals.
- Maintain a litter and trash-free yard to reduce wild animal habitats.
- People and pets should avoid contact with sick or dead wild animals and rodents.
- Use precaution when handling sick pets. Have sick pets examined by a veterinarian.
- Consult with your veterinarian about flea and tick control for your pets.
- Keep pets from roaming freely outside the home where they may prey on wild animals and bring the disease home with them.
- To learn more about animal-borne diseases in Jefferson County, including plague, please visit www.jeffco.us/2368.