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Human Plague Case Reported in Pueblo County, Colorado

a man wearing a plague mask and a top hat

NATIONAL (WDNews) – A human case of the plague has been identified in Pueblo County, Colorado, based on preliminary test results. This marks the first case in the state since 2021, when a child from La Plata County succumbed to the disease.

Southern Colorado is a known hotspot for the plague in the U.S., typically surfacing sporadically in rural areas. This isn’t the first U.S. case making headlines this year. In March, a New Mexico resident died from the plague after being hospitalized, confirmed by the state’s health department.

While the word “plague” can be alarming, experts assure that the risk to most people remains low. The plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is primarily found in rodents and their fleas. Animals such as squirrels, mice, rats, prairie dogs, chipmunks, voles, and rabbits can be affected. Cats and dogs can also transmit the infection to humans.

Key symptoms of the plague include painful, swollen lymph nodes called buboes, typically found in the groin or armpits. Other symptoms include fever, weakness, coughing, and chills. Most U.S. cases are of this type.

Despite its serious nature, the plague remains relatively rare and manageable with prompt medical treatment.