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Colorado 10-year-old dies as health officials investigate plague activity
The 10-year-old resident of La Plata County "died from causes associated with plague," the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a news release Thursday.
The death comes amid "laboratory confirmed reports of plague in animals and fleas in six counties," including La Plata, where testing has confirmed the presence of plague in a sample of fleas collected there.
Plague is a bacterial disease that can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected rodent fleas or handling infected animals, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [cdc.gov].
Though notorious as the cause of death for tens of millions across Europe during the Middle Ages [cnn.com], plague can be effectively treated with modern antibiotics if caught early enough, per the CDC. Just a handful of cases [cdc.gov] are reported in the US each year.
CNN's Raja Razek contributed to this report.