Colorado – The nation is in another crisis as dangers of a newly-found dog plague looms at large. According to a report, a Colorado dog caused an infection to his owners and that resulted in four others getting affected last year.
Even though the dog died, the infectious people numbers alarmed the authorities and so this has been reported as the largest outbreak of this particular infection.
Doctors had diagnosed the first man who got this plague with pneumonia earlier and it was only after more than a week that the doctors felt that his condition had worsened and they confirmed the rare infection. Attacking the lungs of the patient, this was a similar plague as caused by the flea bites.
What has come as a surprise to the health officials is the fact that this infection is usually a human to human transmission and this was the first time that it was transmitted via a dog.
Rare Plague in North America
A set of researchers set out to study the infection and its seriousness after the cases and have come up with the conclusion that this is a rare plague in North America and no cases have been reported for centuries.
Antibiotics helped in the recovery of the man but it took almost a month for his to fully recover. Even the others had a similar recovery process. All the people who were in contact with the infectious were warned and asked to get test done to ascertain if they had also contracted the virus.
Infections usually caused by Fleas
John Douglas from Tri-County Health Department in Colorado said, “Frankly, one of the biggest surprises of this outbreak is the source. Primarily … dogs don’t get sick at all or they get a minor illness.”
The researchers found no evidence of a similar case in the records. They have found that infections from the prairie dog fleas, was most widespread in Colorado, Arizona, California and New Mexico – all western U.S. territories.
The pneumonic plague caused by these fleas has so far infected only 74 humans from 1900 to 2012. A total of 8 cases of plague are reported annually in U.S. for rare infections.