DENVER (CBS4)– Three more people have become ill from the plague in Colorado.
The Department of Public Health and Environment said the cases are tied to another human case of pneumonic plague that was previously reported.
“This is extremely unusual. We do normally see cases of plague occasionally over the past 10 years, 12 cases over that 10-year period. So to have four cases at once is extremely unusual,” said Colorado Department of Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House.
All four humans had contact with a dog that had died from the plague in eastern Adams County.
The dog was likely exposed to a prairie dog or rabbit with plague-infected fleas.
House said that is one reason to keep your pets close, “Avoid any contact with dead rodents. Don’t allow your pets to hunt them, bring them home. Keep your cats inside, only walk dogs on a leash so they don’t catch rodents.”
The three recent human cases all had mild symptoms and are no longer contagious.
The last human plague case in Colorado was in 2012.