Colorado Issues Health Warning as Bubonic Plague Detected in Local Fleas


Colorado Springs, CO – Health officials in Colorado have issued a public warning after fleas in the state tested positive for the bubonic plague. The discovery has prompted increased vigilance among residents and pet owners to prevent the spread of this historically deadly disease.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) confirmed the presence of the plague bacteria, *Yersinia pestis*, in fleas collected from various locations, including La Plata County, following the death of a 10-year-old girl earlier this month. The girl, a member of a 4-H club, tragically succumbed to the disease, which marks the state’s first human plague death since 2005.

Public health officials emphasized that while the risk to the general public remains low, it is crucial for residents to take preventive measures. The plague is primarily transmitted through the bites of infected fleas or through direct contact with infected animals, particularly rodents. Prairie dogs, known for their susceptibility to the plague, often serve as a visible indicator of the disease’s presence when they suddenly disappear from their usual habitats.

The symptoms of bubonic plague, which include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and headaches, can progress rapidly. Immediate medical attention is essential, as antibiotics are highly effective if administered early. The CDPHE advises anyone experiencing these symptoms, especially after exposure to fleas or wild rodents, to seek medical care without delay.

To mitigate the risk of contracting the plague, the CDPHE recommends several precautions:

1. **Protect Pets**: Use veterinary-approved flea treatments and keep pets on leashes to avoid contact with wild rodent habitats.

2. **Avoid Rodents**: Steer clear of areas known to be inhabited by wild rodents and refrain from handling sick or dead animals.

3. **Household Safety**: Prevent rodent infestations around homes by clearing vegetation and reducing access to food.

4. **Professional Help**: Consult pest control professionals to treat homes and surrounding areas for fleas.

Public awareness and adherence to these safety measures are critical, especially during the summer months when human and animal interactions increase. This period sees a higher activity of rodents and a greater likelihood of flea bites.

This recent outbreak highlights the importance of monitoring wildlife and maintaining strict control measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The CDPHE continues to work with local health agencies to track and manage plague activity across the state, ensuring that the public remains informed and protected.

The bubonic plague, infamous for causing the Black Death in the 14th century, is now rare and treatable, but vigilance remains essential to prevent isolated cases from becoming a larger health issue. Colorado's proactive measures and public health advisories aim to keep the community safe while maintaining awareness of this ancient, yet persistent threat.


  1. The plague that is hitting the USA is the CDC and FDA. They want us all to be scared so that they can have states issue Mail-In Ballots. That is the only way the Democrats can win the election. By stealing, cheating and lying.

  2. As a former resident of Colorado (63 yrs).
    They find the plague in prairie dogs every year when testing . This is
    nothing new…..
    CDC quit trying to scare people!!


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