In rare incident, dog infects 4 in Colorado with plague

In rare incident, dog infects 4 in Colorado with plague

[Ed. – So we’ve got that going for us.]

The dog, a 2-year-old American pit bull terrier, became sick last summer with a fever and jaw rigidity, among other symptoms. The dog’s health declined so quickly that it was euthanized the following day at a local vet’s office, health officials said.

Four days later, the dog’s owner entered the hospital with a fever and a bloody cough that became worse over the next few hours, but an initial blood culture was misidentified, according to the CDC report.

As the patient’s symptoms grew worse, the test was redone and he was found to have been infected with pneumonic plague, according to the CDC report. The remains of the dog were also tested and were found to be positive for the plague bacteria.

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“Frankly one of the biggest surprises of this outbreak is the source,” said John Douglas, of Tri-County Health Department in Colorado and one of the study authors. “Primarily … dogs don’t get sick at all or they get a minor illness,” after being infected with the plague. …

The dog’s owner remained hospitalized for 23 days as he recovered from the potentially deadly disease, the report said. In addition to the owner, a close contact of the owner and two veterinary employees who treated the dog or handled its body also became infected with the plague. All three were successfully treated with medication after exhibiting symptoms.

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