Idaho Dog Tests Positive For Plague, Ground Squirrels Likely The Cause

Jun 5, 2015

A dog in Ada County has tested positive for plague. It’s the first canine case of the bacterial disease since officials reported an outbreak in ground squirrels south of Boise two weeks ago. No human cases have been discovered.

Sarah Correll is an Epidemiologist for Central District Health Department. She says a preliminary test came back positive, which means the dog likely has the plague. Results from a second test will come back next week.

“The dog had been in the affected area, out near Pleasant Valley Road," Correll says. "It was roaming freely and did have contact with the ground squirrels.”

When the dog became ill and started a high fever, its owner took it to a local veterinary clinic. They suspected plague and had the dog tested.

Correll says the owner and people at the vet clinic are being examined and may need to start taking antibiotics, to avoid catching the plague from the dog. She says only people who had close contact with the animal are at risk.

The dog was put on antibiotics and is feeling better.

Officials are asking people, and their pets, to stay away from the infected area south of Boise to the Snake River and from Kuna to Mountain Home.

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