Confirmed case of bubonic plague reported in southern Colorado

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Fleas are one of the carriers of the bubonic plague, which has not appeared in Colorado since 2006. (CNN)

Fleas are one of the carriers of the plague. (CNN)

PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. — The state has its first confirmed case of the bubonic plague since 2006, and it has befallen a camper in Archuleta County according to multiple health agencies.

Information obtained from an ongoing investigation being performed by San Juan Basin Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the National Forest Service suggests the camper became infected on a family outing in the Cimarrona Campground northwest of Pagosa Springs.

The departments have not provided the name or age of the victim.

The disease is typically spread through rodent populations, but can also be spread by fleas. The plague was much more prevalent in the state from 2004-2006, when there were 10 cases confirmed over three years. The last reported human case in Archuleta County was in 1998.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports an average of seven cases of the plague nationwide every year.

Symptoms included swollen lymph glands, sudden onset of fever or chills, severe headache or extreme exhaustion and set in 2-6 days after an infection. The illness is easy to treat if it’s diagnosed early and properly.

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