Protecting Yourself Against Plague


Vectors are organisms that help move the disease to you. Infected fleas are the primary vector. But since they are hard to see, we usually pay more attention to the larger animals that help carry the fleas. These animals include:

  • Prairie dogsPrairie dog is a vector for plague (see photo)
  • Ground squirrels
  • House cats
  • Roof rats
  • Coyotes
Coyotes are an excellent sentinel (species that helps us identify when plague is present) because of their susceptibility and large home range. 


  • May 30, 2006. Ground squirrel tests positive for plague. PCTonline
  • By The Daily Sentinel 6/10/2005
A second house cat living on the Redlands has tested positive for plague, the second one in the last two weeks, Mesa County health officials announced Tuesday.

"It definitely serves as a warning, and we're advising people to take precautions," said Mesa County Health Department spokeswoman Kristy Westerman.

The owners of the cat took it to their veterinarian after it developed symptoms. The cat was tested and the results came back positive Monday, Westerman said.

The cat lives at a house in the area of Monument and South Camp roads, the same place where another plague-infected cat was found last month. Both cats were treated.


Online Resources

Plague Investigation (Brief Guide)--Kansas State

Plague Home Page--World Health Organization

Plague Manual--World Health Organization

Plague--Centers for Disease Control

Plague--Harvard Medical Center

Plague--National Institutes of Health

Plague--University of Minnesota


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