Health officials are warning residents to steer clear of prairie dogs as they manage plague-infested fleas found in Colorado prairie dog colonies.

Commerce City officials have closed unpaved areas of Dicks Sporting Goods Park and Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge while they spray to kill the fleas. The health department says the fleas can transmit the disease to rodents, people, and pets.

John M. Douglas Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department:

“Plague in prairie dog colonies is common in Colorado and can be managed safely with insecticide to kill the fleas that spread the disease. Our partners have voluntarily closed these locations to prevent any humans or pets from wandering into the affected areas.”

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