Published Date: 2011-06-12 19:53:36
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Plague, animal - USA (03): (CO)
Archive Number: 20110612.1792
PLAGUE, ANIMAL - USA (03): (COLORADO)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 3 Jun 2011
Source: Boulder County [edited]
A domestic cat living in the 2500 block of Sixth Street has tested
positive for plague. Additionally, a dead squirrel [probably a tree
squirrel] found at the intersection of Eighth Street and Maxwell
Avenue has tested positive for plague. As a result, signs listing
precautionary measures to avoid plague have been posted in the
Mapleton Hill neighborhood.
This is the 1st time plague activity has been confirmed in Boulder
County this season .
For more information about plague, please visit
http://www.BoulderCountyHealth.org or call the Health Alert Hotline
Date: 9 Jun 2011
Source: Boulder Weekly [edited]
The plague outbreak in Boulder's Mapleton Hill area reported last
week seems to have run its course, according to county officials. But
2 confirmed cases of rabies in bats rolled in this week to take its
On 3 Jun 2011, Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) announced that a
domestic cat and a dead squirrel tested positive for plague. The cat
lived in the 2500 block of 6th Street, and the squirrel was found at
8th Street and Maxwell Avenue. Health officials posted signs around
the neighborhood advising residents of the danger and listing
precautionary measures to take.
Joe Malinowski, manager of the BCPH Environmental Health Division,
said this week that a 2nd dead squirrel tested positive for plague,
but the cat was successfully treated for the disease. There have been
no other confirmed cases, he said, adding that he knows of no humans
who have reported contracting symptoms of the plague, which include
high fever, extreme fatigue and painful, swollen lymph nodes. His
office has, however, received a few calls from area residents
reporting additional dead squirrels. But Malinowski said officials
won't test another squirrel unless 2 or more are found in the same
The same area got hit with a similar plague infestation in 2005, he
said, but usually the disease targets prairie dogs, not squirrels.
Malinowski added that the plague typically runs its course within a
few days. "It goes through the population pretty quickly," he said.
Usually, prairie dogs return to the empty burrows of a colony that has
been wiped out, and the squirrel population on Mapleton Hill is
expected to bounce back as well, he explained.
This is the 1st confirmed case of plague identified this season
, but Malinowski said it is common to have outbreaks each year.
Residents were advised to keep cats indoors, since they seem to be
more susceptible to plague than dogs.
Officials suggest protecting pets with flea powder and keeping them
on a leash and out of wild rodent habitats. People entering wild
rodent habitats should wear insect repellent and tuck their pants into
socks to prevent flea bites. Long-handed shovels should be used to
remove dead rodents, and they should be sealed in garbage bags and
placed in garbage cans. Asked what symptoms sick animals exhibit
outwardly, Malinowski said plague is not like distemper, which can
leave animals like raccoons acting lethargic and wobbly. "Typically,"
he said, "the plague acts so quickly that death comes fast."
[Byline: Jefferson Dodge]
[With the widespread hot weather we are getting through the western
states, we can confidently expect more of these peri-domestic plague
cases. - Mod.MHJ]