A second cat in Elmore County has been infected with plague, and this one died. The Central District Health Department reports today that the cat was feral, but had recently been cared for by an Elmore County family as an outdoor cat.
In May, an Elmore County child contracted plague, though the child may have been infected in Oregon; in June, a pet cat in the county was infected. Both that cat and the child were treated and made full recoveries.
Plague is transmitted through the bite of infected fleas; ground squirrels, though not tree squirrels; rats; voles; and mice typically become infected.
“In addition to protecting their own pets with flea control, people should avoid contact with feral animals due to the risk of diseases like plague,” said Sarah Correll, department epidemiologist. “People can be exposed to plague when pets bring infected fleas back into the home, by caring for a sick pet or feral animal without proper precautions, or by contact with rodents carrying fleas.”