Plague caused death of Colorado resident, Authorities Advise Precautions

In the serene landscape of Archuleta County, Colorado, a shadow has fallen, a harbinger of a menace that refuses to fade into history. An unnamed resident, a victim of an ancient terror, recently succumbed to the plague, unleashing a joint investigation by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH). In the silent corridors of this rural county, the identity of the fallen remains shrouded in secrecy, a silent testament to the gravity of the situation.

“While this disease is very rare, it is important to be aware of how you can be exposed and the symptoms it can cause,” Tiffany Switzer, the interim executive director of SJBPH, solemnly intoned. Her words reverberate with a somber truth, a call to vigilance in the face of an ancient adversary. She implores anyone who dares to ignore the signs, to overlook the symptoms, to heed her call—seek medical attention, for time is the essence in this battle against the plague.

The plague, a specter of darkness, an animal-borne malaise, emerges from the shadows. Its birthplace—a bacteria, transmitted through the tiny vessels of dread, the fleas, clinging to infected creatures. Among these vessels of doom, rock squirrels, prairie dogs, wood rats, ground squirrels, and chipmunks, the innocents turned carriers of pestilence. The ticking clock of doom accelerates in the summer, when life blossoms, when humans and creatures converge. It’s a time of proximity, of interaction, but also of danger. Yet, let it be known that this peril, this malevolence, is not a summer’s fleeting fancy; it lurks year-round, a relentless phantom.

Caution whispers in the wind, a fragile plea amidst the wilderness—refrain from the sinister act of vanquishing prairie dogs upon your lands. The destruction of these creatures, condemned by many, raises a specter far more insidious—the increased likelihood of stumbling upon fleas of doom. The health guardians, their vigilance unwavering, stand watch, observing the fates of prairie dogs. Each fallen sentinel bears testimony to the ever-present danger, the plague’s looming shadow. (

The plague does not emerge unannounced; it heralds its arrival with dread omens. A fever, a relentless inferno, erupts within the victim. Swollen lymph nodes, grotesque and ominous, manifest as harbingers of despair. But there is hope, for this affliction, this ancient terror, can be tamed. Antibiotics wielded with speed and precision can shackle the plague, freeing the afflicted from its malevolent grip.

The battleground stretches beyond the individual; it encompasses the realm of prevention. ( Soldiers of health, armed with wisdom, tread carefully. Insect repellent, a ward against the lurking menace while traversing the great outdoors. Caution, a sage counsel, bids us avoid the touch of wildlife, the carriers of contagion. ( The faithful companions, our pets, they too are armed against this scourge through vaccination. In the citadel of our homes, we must maintain the bulwarks of cleanliness. And when the menace of rodents threatens, swift action is our shield, a safeguard against their insidious incursion.

In the age of information, knowledge is our sword and our shield. CDPHE, SJBPH, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the guardians of enlightenment, stand ready to empower us. Information flows freely, a river of understanding to navigate this treacherous terrain.

In the heart of Archuleta County, where the mountains stand sentinel and the rivers whisper ancient secrets, a battle rages—a battle against the plague. ( It’s a battle for every soul, an age-old contest where knowledge, vigilance, and swift action are our greatest allies. The plague may stalk the shadows, but it shall not have dominion. As the silent struggle unfolds, may the people of Archuleta County stand strong, armed with wisdom and united against this timeless adversary.

Yael Wolfe

Writer, photographer, artist, and big, bad wolf. I’m a writer, photographer, and artist. I use my work to explore what it means to be a woman in this world.

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