Bubonic plague case pops up in Colorado

The Colorado Health Department identified a new case of bubonic plague contracted by an individual in Montezuma County.

The individual likely caught the plague on private property, but the investigation is ongoing, according to a June 26 department news release. The department is encouraging the general public to take steps to protect themselves by reducing contact with fleas and animals, including using bug spray when going outside, treating pets with tick medication on pets, and staying away from and reporting dead rodents.

The bubonic plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. It can be transmitted to humans by infected flea bites or animals. Since 2005 to 2021, the Denver Post reported that there have been 72 cases of plague —  11 of which have resulted in deaths — in the state.

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