Plague ecology in the United States
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

All these words:

For very narrow results

This exact word or phrase:

When looking for a specific result

Any of these words:

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

None of these words:

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Publication Date Range:


Document Data


Document Type:






Clear All

Query Builder

Query box

Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page

Filetype[PDF-2.20 MB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Description:
      Plague in Nature

      Plague occurs naturally in the western U.S., especially in the semi-arid grasslands and scrub woodlands of the southwestern states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

      The plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis) is transmitted by fleas and cycles naturally among wild rodents, including rock squirrels, ground squirrels, prairie dogs and wood rats.

      Plague in Humans

      Occasionally, infections among rodents increase dramatically, causing an outbreak, or epizootic. During plague epizootics, many rodents die, causing hungry fleas to seek other sources of blood. Studies suggest that epizootics in the southwestern U.S. are more likely during cooler summers that follow wet winters.

      Humans and domestic animals that are bitten by fleas from dead animals are at risk for contracting plague, especially during an epizootic. Cats usually become very ill from plague and can directly infect humans when they cough infectious droplets into the air. Dogs are less likely to be ill, but they can still bring plague-infected fleas into the home. In addition to flea bites, people can be exposed while handling skins or flesh of infected animals.


    • Document Type:
    • Place as Subject:
    • Main Document Checksum:
    • File Type:

    Supporting Files

    • No Additional Files

    More +

    You May Also Like

    Checkout today's featured content at