A 16 year old lost his life to a rare illness this month. Although investigation is still going on but officials believe that Taylor Gaes somehow contracted a septimatic plague from fleas from a dead rodent or another such animal on his family land in Cherokee Park, Livermore.
Septimatic plague can be contracted through flea found on rodents, the fleas seek out another victim when their rodent host dies.
Health officials believe that he contracted a septicemic plague, a rare strain of plague, which took his life. Septicemic plague is where the bacteria directly enters the blood stream and becomes highly fatal.
Taylor Gaes was Poudre High School’s football and baseball player.
Everyone who visited Gaes’s family home after his death on June 8th is being warned to be extra careful. Health officials say that there is still a chance that someone else might contract the disease from the Gaes’s family land. They urged anyone who has been on the land in the last 7 days to seek medical attention immediately, especially in the case of a fever.
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has teamed up with experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state health department and Larimer County Coroner’s Office.
In Larimer County Gaes is the first one since 1999, to have contracted this disease. Another incident reported of a resident of Weld County in 2004, while camping in the Red Feather Lakes area.
Symptoms of this plague are gangrene, chills, high fever , muscle cramps, seizures, painful lymph gland swelling, heavy breathing, vomiting of blood, extreme fatigue, coma and extreme pain caused by decaying of the individuals skin.
Bubonic plague is the most common of plagues amongst humans, which is treatable if diagnosed within time. Symptoms begin to show after 2 to 6 days of infection. While Septicemic plague is the rarest.
More than $15,000 has been raised for Gaes’s family.
Taylor Gaes’s father, Shannon Gaes, told the investigators that Taylor had been sick with what they thought was the flu. The high fever came and went along with muscle ache and soreness.
Two days after getting infected, Taylor had to leave a game because he was too sick to go on, and the next morning at 5.30 he woke up his parents to tell them he had coughed up blood.
Taylor never made it to the hospital; he stopped breathing on the way of a 20 mile long drive to Poudre Valley Hospital.