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Return to Other Wildlife Diseases



Commonly infected wildlife




Bobcats and Lynx


Mink and martins

Prairie Dog


Is this animal infected?

  • Disease outbreaks in wildlife are rare
  • Signs during outbreaks in rodents include:
    • Swollen and/or rotting lymph nodes
    • Multiple red spots on skin/organs

Can I get it?


  • Being bitten by an infected rodent flea
  • Contact with abscesses on infected animals
  • Through bites and scratches
  • Inhaling infectious airborne droplets (rare)

How bad can it get?

Human infections are rare but can be severe

Protect myself and others

  • Avoid rodents
  • Prevent flea bites by wearing
    • Long sleeved clothing and disposable gloves
  • Do not consume infected animals
  • Wear a proper filter mask
  • Wash puncture wounds and scratches with soap and warm water

Wear Gloves

Wash Hands

Wash Hands


Symptoms in humans

  • Bubonic form (flea bite)
    • Fever and general illness
    • Swollen/painful/hot lymph nodes
    • Tissue swelling around flea bite
  • Septicemic (in blood) or pneumonic (in lungs) form
    • Fever and signs of shock
    • Breathing problems, including cough
    • Excessive bleeding
    • Death
    • If you show symptoms, seek medical attention

Safe for pets?

Not safe for pets


  • Carnivores may be infected when they eat infected tissues
  • Once infected, pets can potentially cause illness to humans

What causes it?

  • Bacteria called Yersinia pestis
  • It is primarily a flea-transmitted disease