Friday, May 21, 2010

Bubonic Plague

Bubonic Plague is a disease caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis and can be transmitted to humans by infected fleas or direct contact with infected animals. Plague is frequently detected in squirrels, prairie dogs, wood rats and chipmunks.

Incubation Period - Usually 2-6 days.

Typical symptoms:

  • Sudden onset of fever and chills

  • Severe headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • A general feeling of illness.

  • Possible Lymph node pain and swelling

Treatment with antibiotics is effective during the early stages of disease.

Restrict dog and cat contact with squirrels, rodents, rabbits, prairie dogs, and other small mammals. Maintain good flea control - use flea control products recommended by a veterinarian. Avoid contact with any species of wild rodents, especially sick or dead rodents.
If a suspicious dead animal is found, do not directly handle the animal. Use gloves and place in a plastic bag. If these reasonable precautions are taken, the probability of contracting plague is extremely low.

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