October 30, 2013 at 1:22 am #820MikeKeymaster
Gosh, Wyoming has seen its share of animal illness.
You can read this and see what you all think, maybe it’s just
a ‘blip’ in the over all picture.
Best to you all
CHEYENNE, Wyoming- Health officials here have warned the local
population that they should take strict measures to protect
themselves and their pets after a fourth cat was diagnosed with
plague on Friday.
This is the third cat that has been infected in the western area;
the other report had come in from Albany County. Ken Gage of the CDC
in Fort Collins, Colo, said that getting four cases in a short
period of time was unusual, but that there was no cause for panic.
Researchers think that the cats got the disease from the rodents in
the area. Plague is endemic (constantly present) in the fleas that
infest the rodent population in these areas and can be transferred
to other animals including humans.
The disease is caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis and is
commonly called Black Death after it wiped out whole populations in
Europe in the Middle Ages. Modern medicine has dealt effectively
with this scourge, but certain areas around the world are prone to
episodic occurrences of the disease. The bacterium is usually
transmitted to humans via bites from rodents or infected animals
including cats. The first symptoms of the disease include headache,
nausea, vomiting, aching joints, and a general feeling of ill
health. In the United States, the last documented Plague epidemic
occured in Los Angeles in 1924-25.
Since then human infections have been rare. In Wyoming only five
cases have been reported since 1978. Last year, a southwest Colorado
woman was the only one to contact the disease. However, state health
officials say that this is the first time in 20 years that they are
seeing the appearance of the disease in cats and this has caused
some concern, “What really concerns me is these cases with cats
right now really increase the risk of human exposure,” Gus Lopez,
the director of the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department, said.
As precautionary measures, officials have asked people to
eliminate “sources of food and nesting places for rodents around
homes, work places, and recreation areas.” They say that if the
plague were found in more instances, they would spray the entrances
of rodent holes with insecticide.
As a general measure, avoid getting scratched by your pet and if you
are scratched or bitten by a cat, make sure that you wash the area
with soap and running water and meet your doctor.
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