The plague tracked in Denver

May 11, 2007

Denver officials warned people to stay away from squirrels as they monitored what could be an outbreak of the plague.

Fifteen squirrels and one rabbit have tested positive for the plague, which is typically transmitted by flea bites, The Denver Post reported. Most of the animals were from the Denver City Park area.

Denver has not had an outbreak of the plague since 1968.

The state Health Department set up a hotline for people to call about dead squirrels, and the officials in Boulder closed a park to test a prairie dog town, the Post reported.

"We're still trying to determine how widespread it is," state epidemiologist John Pape told the Post.

"I wouldn't apply the term 'outbreak' to this," he told the newspaper. "We normally see this kind of rodent die-off where plague is occurring, and it just happens to be occurring in Denver this year."

The Post said Colorado is one of a handful of states where the plague bacterium, which killed 25 million Europeans in the Middle Ages, occurs.

The plague kills 1,000 to 2,000 people every year worldwide, including about 18 in the United States.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Malaysia reports first Asian death from MERS virus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

12 hours ago

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

13 hours ago

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

New clinical trial launched for advance lung cancer

Cancer Research UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer to create a pioneering clinical trial for patients with advanced lung cancer – marking a new era of research into personalised medicines ...

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top seven million

Sony says it has sold seven million PlayStation 4 worldwide since its launch last year and admitted it can't make them fast enough, in a welcome change of fortune for the Japanese consumer electronics giant.