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Saturday, May 02, 2015

Dog Infects Humans with Plague First Time in US

A plague-infected dog spread the dangerous disease to four Colorado residents, according to a new report from the U.SCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.

ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

Health officials told ABC News that this the first report of a dog infecting a human with the plague in the U.S.

Dog Transmits Deadly Plague to Humans in Colorado
A report of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention affirmed that in Colorado, a dog infected with plague has spread the disease, affecting four people. 

The two-year-old American pit bull terrier got sick with plague, and then transmitted it to those who attended to it.
The owner of the dog, two veterinary technicians who treated it and one female who had personal contact with the dog’s owner, all have been diagnosed with the infection.
The dog has died but all four people are being treated with extra intravenous antibiotics, in order to be certain that they are cured of the infection.

The dog 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.

"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.

Janine Runfola, of the Tri-County Health Department in Colorado and lead author of the report, explained that cats are more likely to infect humans with the disease than dogs because they exhibit more symptoms.

PHOTO: A prairie dog is seen in a stock photo. Plague has been known to affect prairie dogs in the southwest region of the U.S.
Prairie dog 

"For pneumonic plague a more likely scenario would be you have a cat [play] with prairie dogs and infected fleas get on the cat," Runfola said. "The cat gets sick and sneezes and coughs on its owner." 


From Wikipedia:

Yersinia pestis fluorescent.jpeg
Yersinia pestis seen at 200× magnification with a fluorescent label. This bacterium, carried and spread by fleas, is the cause of the various forms of the disease plague.

The epidemiological use of the term "plague" is currently applied to bacterial infections that cause buboes, although historically the medical use of the term "plague" has been applied to pandemic infections in general. Plague is often synonymous with "bubonic plague", but this describes just one of its manifestations. Other names have been used to describe this disease, such as "The Black Plague" and "The Black Death"; the latter is now used primarily by scholars to describe the second, and most devastating, pandemic of the disease.
The etymology of the word "plague" is believed to come from the Latin word plāga ("blow, wound") and plangere (“to strike, or to strike down”), cf. German Plage(“infestation”).

Epidemiology and distribution

Infection and transmission

The Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopsis) engorged with blood after a blood meal. This species of flea is the primary vector for the transmission of Yersinia pestis the organism responsible for bubonic plague in most plagueepidemics in Asia, Africa, and South America. Both male and female fleas feed on blood and can transmit the infection.

A child bitten by a flea infected with the Yersinia pestis bacteria. Y. pestis, a member of the Enterobacteriaceaefamily, has caused the bite to becomeulcerated.
Transmission of Y. pestis to an uninfected individual is possible by any of the following means.[2]
  • droplet contact – coughing or sneezing on another person

  • direct physical contact – touching an infected person, including sexual contact

  • indirect contact – usually by touching soil contamination or a contaminated surface

  • airborne transmission – if the microorganism can remain in the air for long periods

  • fecal-oral transmission – usually from contaminated food or water sources

  • vector borne transmission – carried by insects or other animals.
Yersinia pestis circulates in animal reservoirs, particularly in rodents, in the natural foci of infection found on all continents except Australia.


Dog Infects Humans With Plague for First Time in US - ABC News:

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