Bubonic plague foound in six dead squirrels near downtown Denver | SummitDaily.com

Bubonic plague foound in six dead squirrels near downtown Denver

DENVER – Six dead tree squirrels found near the Denver Zoo and City Park have tested positive for bubonic plague, the state health department reported Friday.Experts say it is unusual to find the disease in the center of a city. Caused by a bacterium, plague is transmitted from rodent to rodent by infected fleas. Humans can catch the disease through scratches, bites and coughs.”The risk of Denver residents contracting plague is extremely low,” said John Pape, an epidemiologist who specializes in animal-related diseases for the health department’s disease control division.Symptoms in humans include high fever, fatigue, weakness and a painful, swollen lymph node, typically under the armpit, in the groin area or in the neck. The disease can be treated with antibiotics if recognized early.Since plague was rediscovered in the Colorado in 1957, state health officials said there have been 58 human cases, with nine of those cases being fatal.

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