Plague found in Wyoming prairie dog in Grassland

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GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Department of Health is urging people to use caution after a plague infection was confirmed in a Wyoming prairie dog.

The Gillette News Record ( ) reported Sunday the infected animal was discovered in the Converse County area of the Thunder Basin National Grassland.

The infection was confirmed by the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory. Local U.S. Forest Service personnel also have described seeing signs of significant prairie dog deaths.

State epidemiologist and acting state health officer with the Wyoming Department of Health, Dr. Alexia Harrist says plague is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly for people and animals.

Harrist says while human plague infections are rare, the risk for plague exists all around Wyoming.

According to the Wyoming Department of Health, no human cases have been identified.

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