Foot infected with septicemic  plague

A teen died recently of the Septicemic plague which is serious illness that occurs when the the bacterium Yersinia pestis enter the bloodstream directly and spreads throughout the body. Yersinia pestis was responsible for killing millions of people in the 1300s in Europe, in a pandemic known as the Black Death.  This bacteria is carried by rodents such as rats, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs (and their fleas) and is prevalent in the western United States. 

The young man of 16 years old who contracted this disease,Taylor Gaes was the first person in Larimer County to get the plague since 1999. There is a an active investigation to determine how he was infected but they believe he may have been bit by infected fleas on his family’s property.  

Unfortunately, the symptoms of the plague can present like the flu, thus they are often misinterpreted which was the case for Taylor. After a few days of being ill, he began coughing up blood and was rushed to the hospital but he died before arriving there. Read More

Routes of Contraction of the Plague:

  • Bite from infected fleas
  • Contact with an infected animal such family pet, rodents, etc.
  • Inhalation of airborne droplets from an infected person or animal (especially cats)
  • Exposure to the bacteria in a laboratory


Symptoms appear 2 to 6 days after exposure to plague bacteria.

  • Swollen Lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms
  • Extreme Weakness
  • Shock
  • Bleeding into the skin and other organs

Click Here for more signs, symptoms, facts, and prevention tips on the plague.

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