Local NewsConfirmed case of plague in Colorado prompts health warnings

Confirmed case of plague in Colorado prompts health warnings

Plague in the United States, the first case.
Plague in the United States, the first case.
Images source: © Unsplash

12:03 PM EDT, July 6, 2024

A case of plague has been confirmed in a human in the United States. No details have been disclosed about the patient's condition or how they contracted this potentially deadly infectious disease. Authorities are urging caution and will investigate this matter.

In Pueblo County, Colorado, local authorities have reported a confirmed case of plague in a human. The local Department of Health has not provided any details about the method of infection or the condition of the person who is ill.

Health workers in Colorado are conducting an investigation into this matter. They are urging residents to protect themselves and their pets from this potentially deadly medieval disease, which is transmitted by rodents and fleas.

We advise everyone to protect themselves and their pets from the plague, - said Alicia Solis, Director of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases and Emergency Preparedness.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the typical symptoms of plague are severe headaches, fever and chills, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and swollen lymph nodes.

Since it emerged 120 years ago, this disease has become common among squirrels and rodents in rural southwestern United States areas, - said Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, to FOX News.

The plague is caused by the bacterium "Yersinia pestis." This pathogen was likely first brought to North America around 1900, arriving with rats on ships from South Asia.

The disease incites fear because of its history. In the 14th century, the Black Death killed one-third of Europe's population. It is estimated that the disease claimed up to 25 million lives. During the epidemics in Paris and London, every second resident of these cities died.

Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) records between 1,000 to 2,000 cases of plague worldwide annually. Mainly in rural areas of Africa, Asia, South America, and the United States.

In the USA, on average, there are 10-15 cases of this disease annually. The areas where plague outbreaks occur are usually rural or have low sanitary conditions.

If the plague is not treated, the mortality rate ranges from 30% to 60%. With antibiotic therapy, this rate drops below 5%.

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