Third Bubonic Plague-Infected Cat Identified in Wyoming

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PetMD Editorial
Published: January 14, 2019

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There are have three confirmed cases of plague infection in house cats in Wyoming over the span of six months, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

The third plague-infected cat was identified in the city of Kaycee in Johnson County. The cat was known to wander outdoors, the release says.

According to AJC, the other two cases were in Sheridan and Campbell counties.

“Plague is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly for pets and people if not treated as soon as possible with antibiotics,” Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, says in the WDH press release. “The disease can be passed to humans from ill animals and by fleas coming from infected animals. We are letting people know of the potential threat in the cat’s home area as well as across the state.”

Since 1978, there have been only six cases in Wyoming where humans were infected with the plague.

There are no current human cases identified as of this writing.

“While the disease is rare in humans, plague occurs naturally in the western United States in areas where rodents and their fleas become infected,” Dr. Harrist explains in the WDH statement.

The Wyoming Department of Health recommends the following precautions to help prevent plague infections:

  • Use insect repellent on boots and pants when in areas that might have fleas
  • Use flea repellent on pets, and properly dispose of rodents pets may bring home
  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to rodents
  • Avoid contact with rodent carcasses
  • Avoid areas with unexplained rodent die-offs

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