The Plague Is A Re-emerging Disease – What Hamilton, VA Residents Need To Know
The deadliest pandemic recorded in human history was the Black Death (bubonic plague), which took out about 75-20 million people in North Africa, Europe, and Asia in the mid-1300s. Most people assume that it was eradicated, but unfortunately, this assumption is incorrect.
The major differences between then and now are that the plague affects much fewer people, and is no longer a death sentence. Thanks to antibiotics, the plague can be treated successfully if caught early enough. That’s probably why you may not have heard about the case of two people who were diagnosed with the pneumonic plague in China late last year.
Plague, caused by bacteria and transmitted through flea bites and infected animals, can develop in three different forms. Bubonic plague causes swollen lymph nodes, while septicemic plague infects the blood and pneumonic plague infects the lungs.
Pneumonic — the kind the Chinese patients have — is more virulent and damaging. Left untreated, it is always fatal, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Read more at WTVR…
So does plague occur in the U.S.? Yes, it does. A few to a few dozen cases are reported each year, according to the CDC. There have been almost 50,000 cases worldwide in the last two decades, which is why the WHO now categorizes it as a re-emerging disease.
In August, one case of plague was reported in El Dorado County in Los Angeles. The patient is believed to have become infected while walking a dog. And just this summer, there have so far been at least two confirmed human cases of plague in Colorado. Thankfully, Loudoun County has so far not been a hotspot for the plague. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to be in the know.
Symptoms usually show up within two weeks of exposure and include fever, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. When diagnosed early, the plague can be treated with antibiotics.
Anyone experiencing those symptoms while out in the affected areas should see a doctor, especially if there’s evidence of an insect bite, Forest Service officials said. Read more at KTLA…
People typically get plague when they are bitten by a rodent flea that is infected with the Yersinia pestis bacterium. It is also possible for pets to become infected and in turn infect their owners.
The bacteria that cause plague don’t die out; they can be found in low levels in certain rodents without affecting the rodents’ health. This is why pet owners need to be especially wary about fleas. Further, people can also become infected when they touch an infected rodent.
Fleas are hard to spot, but the symptoms can be all too familiar. Cases of a severe flea infestation can include sore areas and rashes on your pet with mild cases resulting in incessant scratching – if you’re worried about a severe case on your pet, do consult your vet.
An eighth of an inch long, they’re reddish-brown and really thin, so can be hard to see. You can buy a flea comb to brush your pet with, which will catch and enable you to easily identify them. Read more at Ross-Shire Journal…
It’s difficult to get rid of fleas once they make their way into your home. Outside, it would take a hard frost to kill them, and the indoors provide plenty of warm spaces to sustain them. Even worse, it takes just 21 days for one flea to multiply to 1000. The best measures against fleas are preventative ones.
It’s important to keep your pets safe so they don’t come into contact with fleas. Additionally, you don’t want any wild, flea-carrying rodents to gain access to your yard. That’s why we at Backyard Bug Patrol offer effective flea control services to get rid of fleas in your home, as well as rodent control measures to keep rodents out of your yard. Call us today.