Residents warned plague found in fleas in open space in southeast Boulder

August 2014BOULDER COUNTY, Co – Signs warning of the bubonic plague have been posted in an open space area near Boulder’s southeastern border. A health official told the Boulder Daily Camera, at this time she would discourage people from visiting the City of Boulder’s 44-acre Marshall open space property, which is home to a single, large prairie dog colony. Flea samples were collected in this area, after a neighbor reported prairie dogs had died off of their property, according to a press release issued by the Boulder County Health Department. The fleas, which tested positive for the plague, are the first organisms to test positive for the plague in Boulder County in the 2014 season, the health department said. The last instance of the plague in Boulder County was in 2011, when a domesticated cat and a dead squirrel tested positive for the plague. Heather Swanson, a wildlife ecologist for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, told the Daily Camera the disease has been active, if not confirmed, every year since 2005.
Another health official told the Daily Camera, “The threat of spreading the disease has not been deemed serious enough to close the open space, but county health officials are urging people to protect themselves.” According to the health department’s press release, “Plague occurs naturally in Colorado and is an infectious disease spread by fleas to wild rodents and other small mammals, such as, squirrels, rats, prairie dogs, and rabbits. Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague and occurs after a bite from an infected flea. Plague can spread to humans when infected fleas from squirrels, prairie dogs, and other wild rodents bite a human.” The release went on stating, “Household pets, such as dogs and especially cats, can get plague themselves or carry infected fleas home to their owners. In rare instances, plague can be transmitted to people from cats sick with plague.” –9News
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2 Responses to Residents warned plague found in fleas in open space in southeast Boulder

  1. Judy Clarke says:

    Oh, okay mmmmmm, so all of a sudden after hundreds of years the fleas on the dogs are testing positive? So where did that come from – man, scientists, testing their deadly arsonary. Its been trialled on the prairie dogs, so that the flea’s drink the blood and test positive, so I wonder when man (or which country) is going to cop this one, now that Ebola has nearly got a foot hold. But I can tell you – there is a cure for that, but USA will not reveal that just yet, they aren’t about to release their antidote for such a good genocidal. Man is wicked and you know what – God see’s it all.

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  2. Patty says:

    The prairie dogs in Boulder County have occasionally tested positive for bubonic plague for many years prior to 2005. The colonies get so big that this is sort of natural thing to bring them back into more of a healthy rodent colony (if any rodent colony can be considered healthy). So far, so normal from here. The rodents will die off and the bubonic plague will go back into its holding pattern. Pretty much every year also, bats in Boulder die off from bubonic plague and the notice signs get put up. Thank goodness for cold winters by george!

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