Officials: Plague Found at Lake Tahoe Campground

Flea from chipmunk confirmed to have disease
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2016 1:44 PM CDT
A kayaker paddles along Zephyr Cove on Aug. 24, 2015, in South Lake Tahoe.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(Newser) – A scenic campground near the shores of Lake Tahoe is now plastered with warning signs after the US Forest Service announced a flea from a yellow chipmunk there tested positive for plague, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. The Forest Service's Lake Tahoe division, as well as officials from El Dorado County and the California Department of Public Health, all confirmed the infectious disease's presence in a flea found at Fallen Leaf Campground. Per News 4, the insect was taken from one of three rodents that were trapped during routine pest maintenance on May 18; the plague confirmation was received June 2.

"Plague is naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County," officials said in a news release. "Additional plague testing will be performed the week of June 6 in the Fallen Leaf Campground area." (The plague was found last year in a 5,000-year-old human skeleton.)

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