Don't Panic. But..."The message we're trying to get out is that the plague bacteria is present here in Colorado, and to take necessary precautions to avoid getting infected," is the warning from health officials as a Colorado man is infected with the rarest and most fatal form of the pneumomic plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing. As Bloomberg reports, it is the first case of pneumonic plague seen in the state since 2004, and rather stunningly, he appears to have contracted the illness from his dog. "We don’t think it’s out in our air," House said. "We think it’s in our dead animal populations."
As Bloomberg reports, a Colorado man is infected with the rarest and most fatal form of plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing.
The state is working “to investigate the source of exposure and to identify those who may have been exposed through close contact with the individual,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in its statement. “Any individuals exposed will be recommended for antibiotic treatment.”
“We don’t think it’s out in our air,” House said. “We think it’s in our dead animal populations and dead rodent populations.”
“The reaction is leaning toward people who are tired of the protection of prairie dogs on some level,” said Jim Siedlecki, director of public information of Adams County. “Most people look at them as cute little dogs on the side of the road, but in rural Adams County they are looked at as a rodent who damages crops and is potentially plague-ridden.”
Untreated plague is fatal, and antibiotics have to be given within 24 hours of the first symptoms to reduce the chance of death. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache and chest pain, along with a pneumonia that develops rapidly causing shortness of breath, chest pain and bloody mucus, according to the CDC.
There is no vaccine available for plague in the U.S.
Colorado officials recommend that residents keep pets away from wildlife, especially dead rodents. The plague can spread from animals after a large die-off of prairie dogs, when fleas with the bacteria seek new hosts, according to the state.
“The message we’re trying to get out is that the plague bacteria is present here in Colorado, and to take necessary precautions to avoid getting infected,”
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So, in summary, West Africa has the worst breakout of ebola virus in history (which is not under control) and now the US has this 'deadliest, rarest form of the plague' - good times, people.