Child Camping at Yosemite Gets the Plague
It's California's first case since 2006
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2015 3:47 AM CDT
Updated Aug 7, 2015 4:40 AM CDT
Visitors view Half Dome from Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park, Calif.    (AP Photo/Dino Vournas, File)
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(Newser) – Scary news from Yosemite National Park: A child who was on a family camping trip in the national park in mid-July contracted California's first case of plague since 2006, the state's Department of Public Health says in a press release. The department says the child, who visited Stanislaus National Forest, is from Los Angeles County and is recovering from the disease, which is carried by wild rodents including squirrels and chipmunks—and their fleas.

Warning signs have been posted at Yosemite campgrounds, and authorities say that to avoid the plague, people should reduce exposure to fleas by using insect repellent and tucking their socks into their boots. They should also steer clear of all wild rodents, especially sick or dead ones. A state health officer tells CNN that the disease is rare but not unheard of in California, where there have been 42 cases since 1970, nine of them fatal. (In Colorado, there have been two deaths from the plague so far this summer.)