Could You Get Bubonic Plague From A Squirrel?

An girl in Colorado became infected with bubonic plague and barely survived.

It is believed that she became infected while trying to bury a dead squirrel.

Most people don’t even know that bubonic plague is still around but I know it is, because I have diagnosed and treated a number of plague infections in cats. They are very hard to treat, by the way.

Cats get plague when they are bitten by infected rats. Rats were the reservoir of infection in the middle ages and they still carry the infection today.

Most people don’t fight rats. So the way that a person becomes infected is by being bitten by fleas.

Thankfully most people don’t have fleas these days, not like in middle ages. Also rats don’t run around houses the way they used to. This doesn’t mean that people can’t catch bubonic plague though. All I can say is – don’t worry about the squirrels, worry about the rats. I generally don’t recommend people handling any (wild) rats (we are not talking about pet rats here) – alive or dead.

This may be 21st century but a plague infection is still life threatening.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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