2nd Yosemite Plague Case Investigated

Campground closed so rodent burrows can be wiped out
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2015 1:33 AM CDT
2nd Yosemite Plague Case Investigated
This image provided by the National Park Service shows tents pitched at a campground at Yosemite National Park in California.   (AP Photo/National Park Service)

California health officials are investigating another possible case of plague in a tourist from Georgia who fell ill after visiting Yosemite National Park, the second case in less than a month. The California Department of Public Health says "the presumptive positive case" of plague occurred in a patient who visited Yosemite, the Sierra National Forest, and surrounding areas in early August. The federal Centers for Disease Control is testing the person, whose gender and age were not released, officials say. A child fell ill with the plague after camping with his family at Yosemite's Crane Flat Campground in mid-July.

After the latest case, campers have had their reservations canceled at the 304-site Tuolumne Meadows Campground so insecticide can be sprayed into rodent "burrow holes," according to the California Department of Public Health. Plague is carried by squirrels, chipmunks, and other small rodents and is spread by their fleas, but health authorities say transmission between people is rare and the risk to human health at Yosemite remains low. (Last week, two children camping in the park were killed by a falling tree branch.)

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