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A dog potentially exposed more than 100 people to black plague in Colorado

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posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 11:40 AM
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arstechnica.com...


At least 116 people and 46 animals in Colorado were potentially exposed to the black plague after veterinarians struggled to diagnose a critically ill dog back in 2017.

The unusual case prompted health experts to issue an equally unusual—and perhaps startling—warning. That is, that dogs in the US may contract the deadly bacterial infection at any time of the year, and the signs may be hard to spot.

The plague is endemic to areas in the Western United States, meaning it circulates continually. Though it’s best known for causing the catastrophic Black Death pandemic in Europe during the fourteenth century, it arrived in the States around 1900 on rat-infested steam ships. Since then it has spread to, and quietly lurked in, rural rodent populations, including rock squirrels, wood rats, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, mice, voles, and rabbits. Infected populations tend to pop up in parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in recent decades there has been an average of seven human cases documented each year, with a range of one to 17 cases.

The bacterium behind the deadly disease is Yersinia pestis, which is spread by flea bites and contact with infectious people and animals. Once it finds its way into a victim, the infection can manifest in several ways. The main three ways are bubonic (infection typically starting from the skin after a flea bite and spreading to the lymphatic system, causing swollen lymph nodes, called buboes), septicemic (blood infection), and pneumonic (infection in the lungs, which can spread from person to person via airborne droplets).

In dogs, plague is rare but usually presents as bubonic or septicemic, stemming from a bite from an infected flea. And, as the authors of the report note, plague cases in the US tend to crop up when fleas are most active, typically between April and October. But, this is not always the case, as the tale of the poor pup in Colorado shows.

In December of 2017, a three-year-old, mixed-breed dog turned up at a vet’s office with lethargy and fever. Four days earlier, the dog’s human noted that the dog had been sniffing around a dead prairie dog. The vet started an antibiotic treatment, but the dog’s condition rapidly grew worse. By the next day, the dog started coughing up blood, and the vet referred the case to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Following the CDC’s PCR protocol to look for Y. pestis, the vets found the deadly bacteria. Realizing they had plague on their hands, the vets retraced the dog’s days-long stay in the hospital to assess exposures. Based on staff surveys and the dog’s locations, they concluded that at least 116 personnel and 46 co-housed animals were potentially exposed. At-risk humans talked with their doctors to see if they should take antibiotics as a precaution. All the co-housed animals got prophylactic antibiotics.



Came across this and thought i'd share here. I never really thought of dogs contracting the plague before but I guess it makes sense.That sucks for the dog but luckily no one got sick from this.




posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 11:47 AM
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I think maybe I should not feed chipmunks out of my hands anymore.

It's only the black plague if it comes from black squirrels. brown ones pass the Bubonic plagues. I totally made that up.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: dug88

Unlike the fourteenth century, there’s antibiotics today. Antibiotics cures the plague.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 11:53 AM
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originally posted by: UnBreakable
a reply to: dug88

Unlike the fourteenth century, there’s antibiotics today. Antibiotics cures the plague.





Yah really. I want to know if the poor dog survived. People need to make sure they treat their pets for fleas.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 12:13 PM
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originally posted by: toolgal462

originally posted by: UnBreakable
a reply to: dug88

Unlike the fourteenth century, there’s antibiotics today. Antibiotics cures the plague.





Yah really. I want to know if the poor dog survived. People need to make sure they treat their pets for fleas.


The dog was put down and they cut out it's lungs to do testing on. It never recovered. They didn't find out it was plague until after. They never thought to test for it until afterwards. Hence the warning from the CDC to hostpitals and vets.
edit on 14/3/2019 by dug88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Thanks for the heads up! Never heard this before. Our Golden Retriever is a house dog. Doesn't like being outside too much. If she is outside, she's usually in our company or just doing her business. I avoid taking her to the beach because of deer ticks. I just think some owners are taking a chance when they walk their dog in the woods. You really have to keep an eye on what your dog gets into today because so many dead animals and insects can carry diseases. Poor dog.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 01:21 PM
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If it happened over a year ago, I imagine the threat has passed.
At least I hope they would know if there was a pandemic of black plague going around.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 02:19 PM
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Dogs are nasty animals. My daughter has one that is living with us and it does so many gross things. I am a cat person. I will take a noble predator over a scavenger any day.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 02:43 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
Dogs are nasty animals. My daughter has one that is living with us and it does so many gross things. I am a cat person. I will take a noble predator over a scavenger any day.

Surprised to hear that from you. I don't mean any offence by that either, I just saw you as a dog person.

I quite agree with your stance.
edit on 14-3-2019 by Jefferton because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 03:03 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Ha, ha!

You should see the things some people do, and that's with conscious intent, not some dog instinct.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 03:21 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
Dogs are nasty animals. My daughter has one that is living with us and it does so many gross things. I am a cat person. I will take a noble predator over a scavenger any day.


Actually our cats can do some pretty gross things to and of course they carry many diseases humans can get from them.



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 06:32 PM
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More liberal B.S. to coverup the real crime.
a reply to: dug88



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 06:58 PM
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You want to think about something scary:

California is right now fighting a typhus outbreak that's even reached right into city hall. Do you know what the vectors for typhus are? Pretty much the same ones as for the plague.

Plague being endemic to California as mentioned. How long will it be before California is adding plague to the list of things it's current tolerance of street people and the filth that comes with them has brought to its major metro downtown areas?



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 07:13 PM
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No animal is more gross the Humans a dog does not even come close lol .
monkeys throw there poop ( so do humans )



posted on Mar, 14 2019 @ 11:00 PM
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originally posted by: Jefferton

originally posted by: Metallicus
Dogs are nasty animals. My daughter has one that is living with us and it does so many gross things. I am a cat person. I will take a noble predator over a scavenger any day.

Surprised to hear that from you. I don't mean any offence by that either, I just saw you as a dog person.

I quite agree with your stance.


Right? Lol. There with yous both.



posted on Mar, 15 2019 @ 07:16 AM
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Right then. No more shopping at the flea market for me!



posted on Mar, 15 2019 @ 07:47 AM
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originally posted by: SeaWorthy

originally posted by: Metallicus
Dogs are nasty animals. My daughter has one that is living with us and it does so many gross things. I am a cat person. I will take a noble predator over a scavenger any day.


Actually our cats can do some pretty gross things to and of course they carry many diseases humans can get from them.


Why do you think just about every pet care advice sheet out there always tells you to thoroughly wash your hands after handling your pet almost no matter what your pet is?



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