Wyoming Department of Health   Plague Confirmed in a Wyoming Pet - 2023

July 24, 2023  

Plague Recently Confirmed in a Wyoming Pet

Laboratory testing completed last week has recently confirmed plague in a Fremont County cat, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

The Lander-area cat is an indoor-outdoor pet, known to hunt rodents, and is being treated.

While no human illnesses are associated with the current Fremont County situation, WDH reported a human case of pneumonic plague in a Fremont County individual with exposure to sick pet outdoor cats in September 2021. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2011-20 there was an average of six human plague cases each year in the United States.

“Plague is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly for pets and people if not treated as soon as possible with antibiotics,” said Dr. Emily Curren, state public health veterinarian with WDH. “The disease can be passed to humans from ill animals and by fleas coming from infected animals. We are letting people know of the potential threat in the cat’s home area as well as offering a reminder about plague to people across the state.”

“While the disease is rare in humans, plague occurs naturally in the western United States in areas where rodents and their fleas become infected,” Curren said. “It is safe to assume a risk for plague exists all around our state.”

Recommended precautions to help prevent plague infection include:
• Use repellent if exposure to fleas is possible during activities such as camping, hiking or working outdoors. Products containing DEET can be applied to the skin as well as clothing.
• Keep fleas off indoor and outdoor pets by applying flea control products. Animals that roam freely outdoors are more likely to come into contact with plague-infected animals or fleas.
• Avoid unnecessary exposure to rodents, including avoiding areas with unexplained rodent die-offs and rodent carcasses.
• If pets become sick, seek care for them from a veterinarian as soon as possible.
• Do not allow dogs or cats that roam free to share beds with people.
• Reduce rodent habitats around the home, workplace and recreational areas by removing brush, rock piles, junk, cluttered firewood and possible rodent food supplies.
• Wear gloves and a mask if handling potentially infected or deceased animals to prevent contact between your skin and the plague bacteria and to prevent inhaling the plague bacteria.

Plague symptoms in pets can include enlarged lymph glands; swelling in the neck, face or around the ears; fever; chills; lack of energy; coughing; vomiting; diarrhea and dehydration.

Plague symptoms in people can include fever, swollen and tender lymph glands, extreme exhaustion, headache, chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. People who are ill should seek professional medical attention.

More information about plague is available from the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/plague/.

April 10, 2023


Abbott Recalls the Readers used with the Freestyle Libre, Freestyle Libre 14 day, and Freestyle Libre 2 Flash Glucose Monitoring Systems for Risk of Extreme Heat and Fire

The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. Use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death.

Recalled Product

  • Product Name: FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, FreeStyle Libre 14 day Flash Glucose Monitoring System, FreeStyle Libre 2 Flash Glucose Monitoring System
  • Product Models: all Reader serial numbers
  • Distribution Dates: Beginning November 2017 – February 2023
  • Devices Recalled in the U.S.: 4,210,785
  • Date Initiated by Firm: February 13, 2023

Device Use

The FreeStyle Libre, Libre 14 day, and Libre 2 Flash Glucose Monitoring Systems are intended to provide continuous monitoring of glucose levels. These devices help people manage diabetes by detecting trends and tracking patterns in glucose levels so treatment can be adjusted as needed. They are used in place of other blood glucose meters, are for single patient use, and require a prescription.

Reason for Recall

Abbott is recalling the FreeStyle Libre, Libre 14 day, and Libre 2 Flash Glucose Management Systems because the systems' reader devices, which use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, may get extremely hot, spark, or catch on fire if not properly stored, charged, or used with its Abbott provided USB cable and power adapter. This does not affect any of the FreeStyle Libre family of sensors.

The potential for overheating, spark or fire may occur when charging the Reader with non-Abbott adapters or non-Abbott USB cables along with misuse of the Reader and its components. Examples of misuse include exposure to liquids, damage, and introduction of foreign material into the ports.

The Abbott-provided USB cable and power adapter limit the current to safely charge the battery, whereas USB cables and power adapters manufactured by a third party may allow much higher power, increasing the risk of fire.

The Reader, if not properly stored, charged, or used with its Abbott provided USB cable and power adapter, may expose users to extreme heat and/or fire which can cause serious injuries or death. Additionally, users may delay or miss a critical diabetes treatment if the system cannot be used after is damaged by extreme heat.

Abbott reports 206 incidents, including at least seven fires, one injury, and no deaths involving this issue.

Who May be Affected

  • People who monitor their glucose levels using the FreeStyle Libre, Libre 14 day, or Libre 2 Glucose Monitoring Systems.
  • Health care providers with patients who use FreeStyle Libre, Libre 14 day, or Libre 2 systems to monitor their glucose levels.

What to Do

On February 13, 2023, Abbott sent some users of the FreeStyle Libre family of Readers an Urgent Medical Device Correction letter.

The FDA recommends:

Stop using the FreeStyle Glucose Monitoring Systems and switch to a back-up method if:

  • You do not have the Abbott provided USB cable and power adapter (charger)
  • The Reader appears damaged or cracked
  • If there is visible swelling of the Reader
  • If the Reader gets too hot to hold
  • If the Reader is no longer able to hold a charge (for example, does it turn off unexpectedly or immediately after charging?)

If the Reader is damaged or a replacement USB cable or power adapter are needed, call Abbott's Customer Service at 1-855-632-8658 to request a replacement.

To avoid the potential for battery swelling, leakage, extreme overheating and/or fire, Abbott recommends the following:

  • Charge the Reader battery by ONLY using the Abbott supplied USB cable and adapter (charger). Photos are included on www.FreeStyleBattery.comExternal Link Disclaimer to help identify Abbott cables and adapters.
  • DO NOT expose the Reader, power adapter or yellow USB cable to water or other liquids.
  • Store the Reader between -4 °F and 140 °F.
  • DO NOT place the Reader in water or other liquids.
  • Avoid getting dust, dirt, blood, control solution, water, bleach, or any other substance in the test strip or USB port.
  • Review the revised user guide and labeling here at www.freestyle.abbott/us-en/supportExternal Link Disclaimer
  • Visit www.FreeStyleBattery.com to follow steps to perform a Reader Test to determine if your current Reader needs to be replaced

Contact Information

Users with questions about this recall should contact Abbott Customer Service at 1-855-632-8658, available 7 days a week from 8AM to 8PM Eastern Time, excluding major holidays.