MORRISON, Colo. (Gray News) – A squirrel found in metropolitan Denver has tested positive for bubonic plague.
The rodent is the first reported case of the plague in the county, according to Jefferson County Public Health.
Humans can get the plague through the bite of infected fleas, the cough of an infected animal or direct contact with an infected animal.
It can be effectively treated with antibiotics when diagnosed early, the health department says.
The plague can be fatal in up to 90% of people when not treated.
Symptoms of the plague may include:
- sudden onset of high fever
- extreme pain and swelling of lymph nodes
Cases of the plague are rare in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In recent decades, an average of seven human plague cases have been reported each year.
China recently reported a bubonic plague case in its Inner Mongolia region.