At least 116 people and 46 animals in Colorado were potentially exposed to the black plague after veterinarians struggled to diagnose a critically ill dog back in 201
The unusual case prompted health experts to issue equally unusual and perhaps startling -Warning That is, that dogs in the US can contract deadly bacterial infections in any time of the year, and signs may be hard to spot.
"[P] Neumonic plague, although rare, should be considered in dogs that have The Colorado health experts concluded that fever and respiratory signs with potential exposure to disease-endemic areas, regardless of season and lobar [lung] distribution. They published details of the case and their warning this week in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases .
The plague is endemic to areas in the Western United States, meaning it circulates continuously. Though it's best known for causing the catastrophic Black Death Pandemic in Europe during the fourteenth century, it arrived in the States around 1900 is a rat-infested steam vessel. Since then it has spread to, and quietly lurked in, rural rodent populations, including rock squirrels, wood rats, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, mice, voles, and truffles. Infected populations tend to pop up in parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. The bacteria behind the deadly disease is Yersinia pestis The bacteria behind the deadly disease is Yersinia pestis which is spread by blast bites and contact with infectious people and animals. Once it finds its way into a victim, the infection can manifest in several ways. The main three ways are bubonic (infection usually starting from the skin after blast bite and spreading to the lymphatic system causing swollen lymph nodes called buboes), septicemic (blood infection) and pneumonic (infection in the lungs that can spread From person to person via airborne droplets. In dogs, the plague is rare but usually presents as bubonic or septicemic, stemming from a bite from an infected blush. And, as the reporters note, plague cases in the US tend to crop up when fleas are most active, typically between April and October.
In December of 2017, a three-year-old mixed-breed dog turned up at a vet's office with lethargy and fever. Four days earlier, the dog's human noted that the dog was sniffing around a dead prairie dog. The vet started an antibiotic treatment, but the dog's condition quickly grew worse. By the next day, the dog began to cough up blood, and the vet referred the case to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Despite the contact with the dead prairie dog, the veterinarian there did not suspect plague at first because , well, it's rare, and it was December. Moreover, the clinical manifestations of a dog's sick lungs did not fit the usual pattern of a plague infection, which usually affects both the lungs. Instead, only one part of the lung was affected, and it looked more like a dog had inhaled a foreign body, a more common doggy problem. To remove the heavily damaged part of the dog's lung
With the removed lung tissue, the vet tried for several days to grow any possible bacteria that was causing the infection. But, that yielded confusing results pointing to a bacterium related to Y. washed that would not cause the symptoms seen in the dog. They next turned to PCR (polymerase chain reaction), a method of picking out and making copies of specific DNA segments that can help identify organisms. But at that point, the dog's condition was continuing to worsen, and the vets had to put the dog down.
Follow the CDC's PCR protocol to look for Y. Wasted the vet found the deadly bacteria. Realizing they had a plague on their hands, the veterinarian retraced the dog's days-long stay in the hospital to assess exposures. Based on staff surveys and the dog's locations, they concluded that at least 116 staff and 46 co-hosted animals were potentially exposed. At-risk people talked to their doctors to see if they should take antibiotics as a precaution. All the co-housed animals got prophylactic antibiotics.
As far as the vet could tell, no one got sick with the plague from their exposures.
Emerging Infectious Diseases 2018. DOI: 10.3201 / eid2504.181195 (About DOIs). )