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A man and his dog have been diagnosed with plague in the US

The man is still alive but the dog died after contracting pneumonic plague.

Image: Chris Ison/PA Wire

A MAN AND his dog have contracted pneumonic plague in the US state of Colorado, health officials have confirmed.

The man is believed to be recovering, but the dog has died of the disease.

An investigation began after the family dog died unexpectedly. The dog’s body was sent to a nearby university laboratory where tests confirmed that it had had pneumonic plague.

There are three types of plague – bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic – all of which can be potentially deadly if not treated.

This variant of the plague is spread from fleas on rodents, most often prairie dogs. The man and his dog had both been walking in exposed open areas in Colorado when they contracted the illnesses.

Human cases of pneumonic plague are infrequent, but the illness is severe and potentially life-threatening if it is not detected and treated quickly with antibiotics.

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Symptoms of plague include a sudden onset of high fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and a general feeling of being unwell, as well as shortness of breath, chest pain, and a cough which can lead to respiratory failure.

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Christine Bohan

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