• Plague is a bacterial infection that naturally occurs in rodent populations in the Western U.S.
• It is transmitted to people through a flea bite or direct contact with an infected animal.
• Reduce your risk of plague:
o Reduce rodent habitat around your home. Remove brush, rock piles, junk, cluttered firewood, and possible rodent food supplies such as pet and wild animal food.
o Make your home and outbuildings rodent-proof.
o Do not handle wild or dead animals.
o Use repellant if you think you could be exposed to rodent fleas when camping, hiking, or working outdoors.
o Keep fleas off of your pets by applying flea controld products.
• Types of plague:
o Bubonic plague: This form usually results from the bite of an infected flea.
– Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, chills, and weakness and one or more swollen, tender, and painful lymph nodes.
o Septicemic plague: This form results from bites of infected fleas, from handling an infected animal, or from untreated bubonic plague.
– Symptoms include fever, chills, extreme weakness, abdominal pain, shock, and possibly bleeding into the skin and other organs. Skin and other tissues may turn black and die.
o Pneumonic plague: This form may develop from breathing in infectious droplets or from untreated bubonic or septicemic plague.
–Symptoms include fever, headache, weakness, rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and sometimes bloody or watery mucous.
• Seek medical attention immediately if you exhibit any symptoms. Plague is a treatable, but serious disease.