The ten-year-old resident of La Plata County “died from causes related to plague,” the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Surroundings mentioned in a information launch Thursday.
The dying comes amid “laboratory confirmed stories of plague in animals and fleas in six counties,” together with La Plata, the place testing has confirmed the presence of plague in a pattern of fleas collected there.
“In Colorado, we count on to have fleas check constructive for plague through the summer time months,” Jennifer Home, Deputy State Epidemiologist and Public Well being Veterinarian for CDPHE, mentioned in an announcement.
“Consciousness and precautions can assist forestall the illness in folks,” Home mentioned. “Whereas it is uncommon for folks to contract plague, we need to be sure that everybody is aware of the signs. The illness is treatable if caught early.”
The signs embrace a “sudden on-set of excessive fever and/or swollen lymph nodes,” CDPHE mentioned, including officers needed residents to know the indicators of plague, which is “steadily detected in rock squirrels, woodrats, and different species of floor squirrels and chipmunks.”
Prairie canine are additionally vulnerable, and one signal of plague will be the sudden disappearance of the animal, which is lively above floor.
“If you happen to discover decreased rodent exercise in an space the place you usually see lively rodents, contact your native public well being company,” the CDPHE mentioned.
Pets may also be contaminated, and CDPHE suggested residents to make use of flea management merchandise.
MCH Information’s Raja Razek contributed to this report.