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Plague activity confirmed at open space in Broomfield

Health officials said Colorado has seen a recent increase in plague activity.

BROOMFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — Great Western Reservoir Open Space will be closed until further notice after health officials detected plague activity in the area.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said there has been an increase in plague activity in Colorado. Unlike COVID-19, the plague occurs naturally in Colorado and is an infectious bacterial disease spread by fleas.

>> Video above: UCHealth expert talks plague after outbreak in prairie dogs in Commerce City,

Great Western Reservoir Open Space is located east of Indiana Street and south of State Highway 128. Signs will be posted in the area reminding people to stay away and avoid exposure to potentially infected fleas, according to a news release from Broomfield County.

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This is the first case of the plague confirmed in Broomfield this season. The disease can be spread to humans when they are bitten by fleas, as well as rodents and other small animals.

Cases of the plague aren't rare in Colorado. 

Last year, camping at the annual Phish concert at Dick's Sporting Goods Park was canceled due to plague activity among prairie dogs in the area.

Broomfield provided the following tips for avoiding being exposed to the plague:

- Avoid contact with any sick or dead wild animals.

- Avoid fleas. Protect your pets by using a veterinary-approved preventive flea treatment.

- Use insect repellent that contains DEET to prevent flea bites.

- Tuck pant cuffs into socks to prevent flea bites.

- Keep your dogs on a leash when outside.

- Prevent rodent infestations around your house by clearing away debris and trash.

For more information about the plague in Colorado, click or tap here.

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