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Domestic cat contracts plague in Weld County; owner receives treatment

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 18:46:03-04

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Humans don't frequently think of the plague, also known as the black death, but it's still a reality. In fact, a cat in Weld County is receiving treatment for the historically deadly disease after testing positive in early June. 

Weld County officials say the cat, a pet, became sick but after testing positive began receiving treatment and is expected to recover. 

"The presence of plague reminds residents to keep fleas off pets and use appropriate flea control products," Mark E. Wallace, Executive Director for the Weld County Health Department, said. "It's good practice to use an insect repellant if you will be working, playing or camping in areas where fleas may be present." 

Humans and pets can contract plague from infected flea bites, but also can contract the disease from direct contact with an infected animal.

As such, the cat's owner is now receiving preemptive treatment. The earlier treatment begins, the better chances there are for a full recovery.

Follow these tips to avoid the plague and keep your pets safe: 

·Avoid flea bites – stay away from rodents and consider wearing repellent when you are in areas where rodents are present

·Keep fleas off your pets by applying flea control products

·Do not allow cats or dogs that roam and hunt to sleep in your bed as they can carry fleas

·Reduce rodent habitat around your home; remove brush, trim vegetation, and keep the area clear of clutter

·Do not feed or handle wildlife, and if you must dispose of a carcass wear gloves or use a shovel