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Old 09-06-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
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Colorado -- 7yr. Old Girl Gets Bubonic Plague from Fleas

Hello everyone.

This scared the bejevers out of me, I've never heard of such a thing, where have I been?

I just read that a 7-yr. old girl caught the Bubonic Plague from fleas which came off of a dead squirrel.......................at a campground in Colorado!!

Have any of you heard of anything like this before? Do we need to be concerned about taking our furry friends along with us and even though they have flea/tick medication on them, can the fleas be temporarily on them and then jump onto us?

I wonder what the odds are of this happening?

Deb
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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Ah, yes, the plague is out there, but I'll bet that little girl was trying to doctor the dead squirrel, too. Don't get too close to dead things, and you'll be just fine, I'll bet.

Lynn
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
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Better to call your friendly vet. I camped next to a fella who put his cat outside on a harness and leash and let his small dog run free in a State park with bobcats and raccoons (17 out of 20 caught had rabies). Lunch on a leash was my comment to him and he was oblivious to it, then a bobcat parked itself ten feet from the rear of my airstream waiting for an opportunity, his dog chased it through the Florida brush, he still didn't get it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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Quote: "I wonder what the odds are of this happening?"

Response: Very rare.

This is not a new problem; it has been around forever. However, a little common sense goes a long way:

* Don't feed the animals (where have you heard this one before?)

* Do not pick up or touch dead animals.

* Don't let your pets do this either.

* If you are an avid hiker, backpacker, survivalist, rugged outdoor person or perhaps a taxidermist, a bubonic plague vaccination is available, but probably unnecessary. However, these people should be aware of how to limit their exposure.

* Lab workers who work with diseased animals are the most at risk, and their employers should have already made them aware of this and provided the vaccination, if necessary or appropriate.

===============

Link to info on bubonic plague vaccine: Plague Vaccine
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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Bubonic plague is very common in Prairie Dog towns. Prairie Dog populations in South Dakota are declining due to the plague running through the Dog Towns.
I live in very rural South Dakota with Dog towns in all Quadrants around the area, This year there a very few PD's due to the Plague.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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I would get Homeland Security involved... kill every living thing in the park...
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #7
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Ahhh yes! The plague shots. Just ask any Viet Nam Vet. GG in the butt.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:17 PM   #8
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Ahhh yes! The plague shots. Just ask any Viet Nam Vet. GG in the butt.
Not just for Vietnam vets! Makes me want to limp thinking about it
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:18 PM   #9
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I read this same story, occurred while the child was camping with her family in southwest Colorado, I believe.

The story also said this was the third case this year, and that this is the usual number. Basically, bubonic plague is out there, all the time.

The little girl had apparently been told to stay away from a dead squirrel she was trying to bury. She had flea bites. Fortunately, a very alert physician spotted the symptoms and treated her effectively. She could easily have died.

Kids are going to try to take care of animals, also insects, in my experience. Just one of those things that can happen, and why we've gotta watch the little rugrats.


Maggie
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
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Bubonic plague spread by animals is rare, but known throughout the southwest. About 10-20 cases occur in the US each year and can be cured with antibiotics.

I've known two people who back in the '80's caught the plague and both survived well. One was a vet in Evergreen—a community in the mountains west of Denver—and the other owned a hot springs in the San Luis Valley. This does not mean I am a carrier and I have no fleas. The odds of knowing two people who have caught it must be incredibly small, but it is my only claim to fame.

Here's a brief overview: What Caused the Plague?

The chances of catching it are very small and if you take the precautions mentioned above, there should be no problem. Chances of catching hantavirus are about the same and similar precautions should be taken. Living in a rural area, outbuildings where mice live are a danger for hantavirus—watch out for mouse poop and avoid breathing near it (as it crumbles, it releases the virus). West Nile virus is more of a worry as it is spread by mosquitos and a dry, hot summer increases the incidence of that substantially. Most people contract it and never know it, but some people are more susceptible and have serious consequences—I've only known one of those. As the climate changes, other diseases may come north such as Dengue fever. It is also spread by mosquitos and I don't think there's a cure. Killer bees are not here yet, fortunately.

GG probably refers to gamma globulin. It will not cure anything, but may reduce symptoms substantially and prevent getting immunity. It was used a lot decades ago when someone was exposed to diseases like measles or chicken pox. I know this because I was given the shots in the early '50's when exposed to those diseases—never got any symptoms of chicken pox, and only got a mild case of measles. Later when I was about 16 I got measles again and that was a very bad experience. So, gamma globulin may help with treatment but I think there are better options today.

Gene
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:06 PM   #11
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I can remember seeing warning signs in Cimarron Pass back in the late 70s. Had a drawing of a chipmunk on it and started with "Plague is treatable if caught in time!" Went on to warn people not to pitch tents over animal burrows, etc. Also to let your doctor know you had been in an area where plague is endemic if you developed flu-like symptoms.

Every word was in a different font, the one for Plague was huge! Greatest example of ransom note syndrome I've ever seen.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #12
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I'd be more worried about rabies, Huntavirus, or leprosy (armadillos).
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:56 PM   #13
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I'd be more worried about rabies, Huntavirus, or leprosy (armadillos).
Much more dangerous is the flu. Lots of people die from it every year. If you live in a rural area, you chances of getting the plague, hantavirus, anthrax or rabies are greater, but exposure to flu and colds is a lot less.

You could stay home all the time, but it is often said more people are injured at home than anywhere else. Best place is to be locked in a rubber room.

Somehow this reminds me of Firesign Theater's "Beat the Reaper". Contestants are infected with a fatal disease and have to guess which one from their symptoms before they die. Now that's a reality show.

Gene
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #14
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I'm only joking. There's too much stuff out there trying to kill you to let it rule your life. Just take reasonable precautions and get out there and enjoy life while you can!
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