Test results on an ill cat from Clark County have come back positive for plague, according to East Idaho News. Here are some important facts to know about the plague:

1. Types of plagues

There are three different types of plagues: bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

Bubonic plague

This is the most common form of the disease, according to nationalgeographic.com.

Septicemic plague

This disease spreads in the bloodstream and is caused by fleas or contact with other infected body matter, according nationalgeographic.com.

Pneumonic plague

This is the most infectious type of plague, according to nationalgeographic.com.

“(Pneumonic plague) is an advanced stage of bubonic plague when the disease starts being passed directly, person to person, through airborne droplets coughed from the lungs,” according to nationalgeographic.com.


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2. How it spreads

The plague is usually spread through fleas that have fed on infected animals and through direct contact with an animal or person who has the disease, according to healthline.com. It can also be spread from the scratch or bites of domestic cats that have been infected.

3. Common signs and symptoms

People infected with the plague will usually develop flu-like symptoms, like fever, chills, headache and weakness, according to healthline.com.

“In most cases, there is a painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck areas,” according to eastidahonews.com.

4. Precautions to take

Some precautions to take to help reduce the risk of being infected with plague, according to East Idaho News, are:

  • Avoid feeding rodents that are in public areas.
  • Do not feed rodents in picnic or campground areas, and never handle sick or dead rodents.
  • Keep your pets from roaming and hunting ground squirrels or other rodents in affected desert areas.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product on pets as not all products are safe for cats, dogs or children.
  • Clean up areas near your home where rodents may live, such as woodpiles.
  • A veterinarian should examine sick pets promptly, especially if they may have had contact with sick or dead rodents in the Clark County area.
  • See your doctor if you have any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever after being in a plague-impacted area.
  • Put hay, wood and compost piles as far as possible from your home.
  • Don’t leave pet food and water where rodents or other wild animals can access them.