Case of the plague reported in Broomfield; First case in the area this season

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The City of Broomfield reported its first case of the plague for the season on Friday.

Broomfield Public Health and Environment officials reported the plague activity was related to a prairie dog die off near the Great Western Reservoir Open Space. 

The open space and homes in the surrounding area have been alerted and signs listing ways to prevent infection have been posted in the community.

“Plague is commonly transmitted from infected fleas and the public should take precautions to reduce the risk of exposure,” said Broomfield public health director Jason Vahling. “It is important to avoid touching any sick or dead animals and taking safety measures to protect your family and pets.”

Plague is easily treated in humans with antibiotics if recognized early. If infected, people will show a sudden onset of high fever, muscle pain, extreme fatigue and painful swollen nodes, according to officials.

Health officials recommend the following to avoid becoming infected with the plague:

  • Avoid contact with any sick or dead wild animals.
  • Use insect repellant that contains DEET to prevent flea bites.
  • Tuck pant cuffs into socks to prevent flea bites.
  • Protect your pets by using preventive flea treatments.
  • Keep your dogs under direct supervision and on a leash when outside.  
  • Contact your veterinarian if your pet becomes ill.
  • Prevent rodent infestations around your house by clearing away debris and trash.
  • Seek medical attention if you become ill with a high fever and/or swollen lymph nodes.

You are asked to report any unusual wild animal activity to Broomfield Animal Services at (303) 438-6400. 

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