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Several people potentially exposed to plague after working with prairie dogs

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Posted at 8:11 AM, Sep 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-08 10:11:37-04

ST. GEORGE – Wildlife biologists and accompanying journalists were told they may have been exposed to the plague following test results that positively identified the disease in dead prairie dogs the biologists had previously handled, the St. George News reports.

While it is rare for humans to contract the plague from prairie dogs, those who were potentially exposed have been treated with antibiotics, said Mark Hadley, a spokesman for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Exposed to the plague?

The incident occurred in Iron County around Aug. 24 when a wildlife biologist studying a prairie dog colony in a remote part of the county found three dead prairie dogs, Hadley said. The biologists brought the animal carcasses back to DWR’s facility in Iron County where two other biologists sealed them in plastic bags for transport to a lab in Spanish Fork.

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