A rising teenage sports star died of the plague after doctors mistook his deadly symptoms for the flu.
High school quarterback Taylor Gaes, 16, was reported to be in ‘superb health’ before he started developing swollen glands, a fever and muscle aches.
But days after falling ill, the sports fanatic died of the septicemic plague, believed to have been contracted from a flea bite.
Taylor, who also pitched for his school’s baseball team in Larimer County, northern Colorado, passed away just one day after his 16th birthday.
Now, hundreds of people who attended the popular teenager’s funeral at his family’s ranch have been warned they too could be at risk of the disease.
Larimer County Health Department spokeswoman Katie O’Donnell said: “It’s a pretty far reach, but it’s possible.
“There is a small chance that others might have been bitten by infected fleas, so anyone who was on the family’s land in the last seven days should seek medical attention immediately if a fever occurs.”