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USA CONTACT WITH WILD ANIMAL BUBONIC PLAGUE RISK SEPT 16 2012 WARNING

 
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09/28/2012 01:27 PM
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USA CONTACT WITH WILD ANIMAL BUBONIC PLAGUE RISK SEPT 16 2012 WARNING
Date: Sun 16 Sep 2012
Source: Allvoices [edited]
[link to www.allvoices.com]

El Paso County, Colorado, health officials are urging anyone who has recently had contact with wild animals to contact the Public Health Department immediately. On 14 Sep 2012, a wild rabbit was caught near St Francis Medical Center/Hospital, east of Powers Boulevard. Subsequent testing revealed that the animal was infected with bubonic plague.

Bubonic plague is, "a bacterial disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected flea. In humans, the symptoms are high fever, chills, headache, extreme fatigue, and tender or swollen lymph glands," according to the El Paso County Public Health website.

Health officials believe that all of the people exposed to the animal have been identified and treated to prevent them from developing the disease. There have been no reported cases of bubonic plague in El Paso county since 1991.

Recently, a 7-year-old girl from Pagosa Springs, Colorado, which is about 250 miles [402 km] southwest of Colorado Springs, became infected with the disease. She has since recovered.

[Byline: TJ Larson]

-- Communicated by: ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts <promed@promedmail.org>

[As noted in the text, this feral animal case is not geographically linked to the case of septicemic _Yersinia pestis_ infection in late August 2012. - Mod.LL]

[Plague is primarily a disease of wild rodents. It is is caused by the bacterium _Yersinia pestis_, which is not native to North America and is mainly spread by the bites of infectious fleas. When it was introduced with the rats, it became established in some native rodent populations. Small rodents such as deer mice and grasshopper mice are suggested to act as the main reservoirs. Larger species like squirrels are considered to be more vulnerable to infection. Lagomorphs are also frequently infected by _Y. pestis_ and can be a source of the disease for humans. - Mod.PMB]

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