Plague confirmed in prairie dog colony in Weld County

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WELD COUNTY, Colo.–  The plague was confirmed in a prairie dog colony in southwest Weld County on Thursday morning.

According to the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, the plague resulted in mass animal “die-offs” of prairie dogs in a rural part of the county.

The colony was located on private property, so the risk of exposure to the public is low, according to the department of health and environment.

“Residents should protect themselves by keeping fleas off pets and using an insect repellent when working, playing or camping in areas where fleas may be present” Mark E. Wallace, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment.

Here are some tips, according to the department of health and environment:

  • Avoid contact with all sick and dead rodents and rabbits
  • Use insect repellent when outdoors
  • Keep your pets from roaming, use flea control product from veterinarian
  • If your pet is sick, take it to the veterinarian
  • Don’t feed or entice rodents or rabbits onto your property, use gloves and a shovel if you’re removing a dead animal from your property

For more information or questions, you can contact the Environmental Health Division at the Weld County Health Department at (970) 304-6415.

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