Black Plague Strikes Near Denver

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A prairie dog eats a bait containing a plague vaccine. (Tonie Rocke, USGS)

Plague-Infected Prairie Dogs Cause Parks to Close Near Denver
by Jason Daley Smithsonian.com 

Bubonic plague may seem like a disease that’s been relegated to the history books, but that’s not the case. The disease that struck terror in people in the Middle Ages is alive and well in the modern world, and it’s most recently appeared in prairie dog towns in the suburbs of Denver.

Morgan Krakow at The Washington Post reports that in late July, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service shut down the 15,000-acre Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge north of the city when fleas infected with the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis were found in the refuge’s black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Last weekend, parts of the refuge reopened, but certain areas will remain closed through Labor Day. According to a press release from Colorado’s Tri-County Health Department, the Prairie Gateway Open Space in Commerce City is also closed to the public as well as First Creek at DEN Open Space, a nature preserve near Denver International Airport. So far, there are no reports of any humans contracting plague in the area.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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