Plague-Infected Squirrel Closes Calif. Campgrounds

Experts fear spread via fleas
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2013 8:10 AM CDT
Plague-Infected Squirrel Closes Calif. Campgrounds
A ground squirrel was found to be infected with plague.   (Shutterstock)

A plague threat has shut down campgrounds around Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. A ground squirrel in the area was found to have the plague, which can be transmitted to humans through fleas, a health official says. "It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal," the official notes.

Still, "as a precaution," sections of the Table Mountain campgrounds in the Angeles National Forest have been closed for at least a week as of Wednesday. There are an average seven cases of plague per year in the US, ABC News notes (here's an example); it can be treated with antibiotics. (More squirrel stories.)

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