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Third cat in Wyoming contracts plague

Third cat in Wyoming contracts plague
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A cat in Wyoming with plague is the third feline in the state in six months to contract the disease, according to health officials.

A Johnson County cat, known to wander outside near its home in Kaycee, was infected with plague, according to lab results from the University of Wyoming. The other two infected cats were in Sheridan and Campbell counties.

The cat recovered, according to a spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Health.

The last time a human in Wyoming contracted the plague was in 2008, one of six cases since 1978, the statement said. Animals and fleas from animals can pass the plague on to humans, according to the department of health. About seven humans a year get the plague in the U.S.

"Plague is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly for pets and people if not treated as soon as possible with antibiotics," Dr. Alexia Harrist, a state health officer, said in the health department's statement. "We are letting people know of the potential threat in the cat's home area as well as across the state."

The health department recommended people avoid areas with rodents and use repellant when in areas with fleas.

Plague symptoms in pets can include enlarged lymph glands, swelling, fever, chills, tiredness, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In people, plague symptoms include fever, swollen and tender lymph glands, extreme exhaustion, headache, chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to the CDC.