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Colorado Plague Death | What is The Plague?

Quick: What do you think of when someone says The Plague?

Chances are, you think of some Biblical blah-blah-blah about people having the plague (and some other stuff that you don’t really remember from school or church). Or, you may have read some history that suggests the downfall of The Roman Empire may have actually been due to the plague.

Whatever you know (or don’t know) about the plague, you probably haven’t given it much thought in your lifetime because we don’t need to worry about it in our modern times, right?

Except … we do.

CNN has reported that an adult in Colorado has died from the plague, bringing the total to two deaths this year from the plague.


What Is The Plague?

The plague is a bacteria caused by Yersinia pestis. Humans get the plague by being bitten by a flea (usually from a rodent) who was carrying the bacteria. In some cases, the disease gets into the blood stream and can cause the feet, hands and nose and lips to become gangrenous and turn black.

Early on, it is often mistaken for the flu because patients present with fever and chills.

The plague can be treated with antibiotics if caught quickly, but can also be fatal if untreated.

There are additional types of plague, like the pneumonic plague, which can affect a person’s lungs.

No Vaccine for The Plague

According to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, “A plague vaccine is no longer available in the United States. New plague vaccines are in development but are not expected to be commercially available in the immediate future.”

How To Avoid The Plague

So, what should you do to avoid getting the plague? The CDC recommends:

  • Remove brush, wood and other items from around the outside of your house where rodents would nest.
  • Keep your pets and home treated for fleas with flea repellent.
  • Don’t leave animal food sitting outdoors where it could regularly attract rodents.
  • Use repellent while hiking, camping and working outdoors.



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