Boulder County cat with bunny later discovered assessments optimistic for the plague – CBS Denver
BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Boulder County’s health authorities are warning pet owners of the plague. They say a cat tested positive after its owners took it to the vet.
The cat lives near the North Foothills Highway and Plateau Road. The owners say it got sick about two or three weeks after it was found with a baby rabbit.
“Since the plague is most commonly transmitted by fleas, measures to prevent flea exposure can help prevent the disease from spreading,” said Carol McInnes, Boulder County’s Public Health Environmental Health Specialist.
Last month, after a squirrel tested positive for plague in southern Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said “the disease can be found in rodents year-round and sometimes spread to other wildlife and domestic cats and dogs.” . People can also be infected by the plague. It’s treatable with strong antibiotics, but it’s still best to be careful to avoid it.
Humans can become infected through bites from infected fleas or through indirect exposure such as coughing or direct exposure – such as a bite – from an infected animal. An infected person or animal may have a high fever, chills, headache, nausea, and lymph node swelling. Symptoms show up within two to seven days of exposure.
Two human plague cases were reported in Colorado last year, and both patients survived, according to CDPHE. Both people were exposed to sick animals.
The plague has been present in Colorado for at least 80 years.
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The CDPHE says the following measures can be taken to protect you and your pets from the plague:
– Do not treat wildlife directly.
– Keep pets away from dead rodents and rabbits.
– Dogs and cats should be prevented from chasing prairie dogs, other rodents, or rabbits.
– Follow a veterinarian’s advice on treating fleas if it affects a pet.
– Feeding wild animals, other than birds, is a big no-go. It attracts the animals to your property and brings them into close contact where disease transmission is more likely.
Health officials urge the public to call their offices if they think an animal may be infected or if they see numerous wildlife suddenly dying, which could be a sign that the plague is present and spreading.