Cat plague in Wyoming – 07/10/2005

  • October 30, 2013 at 1:22 am #820

    Hi All
    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.

The forum ‘Strange Animal Deaths’ is closed to new topics and replies.