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Chipmunks With the Plague Lead to Closures in Resort City

Sections in southern part of Calif. resort area to remain shuttered through end of week after rodents test positive

(Newser) - Last year was the year of the murder hornets and flying ants . This year, it's plague chipmunks. The AP reports that certain sections on the south shores of California's Lake Tahoe have been temporarily closed after some of the striped rodents tested positive for the infectious disease. Due...

10-Year-Old Killed by Plague in Colorado

It's the first such death in the state since 2015

(Newser) - Colorado had logged its first death from plague since 2015—and the victim was just 10 years old. A statement issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the child, who "died from causes associated with plague," was from LaPlata County, where testing subsequently confirmed...

Popular Flea Collar Linked to Pet Deaths, Human Injuries

EPA says Seresto flea and tick collars remain safe enough for sale

(Newser) - Hundreds of pet deaths and thousands of injuries to pets and humans have been linked to one of the most popular flea and tick collars in the US, according to documents from the EPA. However, there has been no warning about the Seresto collar made by Bayer and sold by...

Infected Prairie Dogs Shut Down Wildlife Refuge

Parts of Commerce City, Colo., preserve are closed to visitors due to plague

(Newser) - Sections of a wildlife refuge near Denver remain closed due to plague-infected prairie dogs at risk of spreading the disease to people. The 15,000-acre Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo., closed in July as fleas spread sylvatic plague among black-tailed prairie dogs, per USA Today...

In Case of Black Death, Rats May Be Innocent
Don't Blame Rats for
Europe's Black Death

Don't Blame Rats for Europe's Black Death

Human-carried parasites might be true culprits: study

(Newser) - Those poor, misjudged rats? According to infectious disease experts in Norway and Italy, rats aren't to blame for the spread of the Black Death, which has previously been referred to as the species' most infamous crime. In fact, humans might've been directly involved, reports the CBC . While studying...

Plague Finds its Way to Fleas in One US State

Arizona county is warning residents to leash their dogs and de-flea all pets

(Newser) - The bacterium that wiped out millions in Europe in the Black Death pandemic of the 1300s lives on, and officials say it's resurfaced in fleas in Arizona. Navajo County public health officials warn on Facebook that Yersinia pestis, better known as the plague, can be transmitted to humans and...

Officials: Plague Found at Lake Tahoe Campground

Flea from chipmunk confirmed to have disease

(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...

Plague-Infected Squirrel Closes Calif. Campgrounds

Experts fear spread via fleas

(Newser) - 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...

Freezing Temps Wipe Out ... Entire Flea Circus

300 fleas in Germany meet tragic end

(Newser) - It's a pint-sized tragedy in Germany, where freezing temperatures have claimed their latest victim: An entire flea circus. As the AP reports, flea circus director Robert Birk opened his transport box Wednesday morning, only to find all 300 fleas dead. The mass die-off left Birk scrambling to keep a...

Scientists Find Giant Jurassic Fleas

Inch-long critters believed to have fed on feathered dinosaurs

(Newser) - What kind of flea feeds on dinosaurs? The big kind. Scientists have found fossils of Jurassic and Cretaceous-era fleas measuring up to an inch in length buried in China, the Telegraph reports. In addition to their unusual size, the fleas' saw-like "siphonate" mouthparts, which were used to suck the...

Plague Fears Close California Campground

Squirrel tests positive, raising fears of outbreak

(Newser) - A campground northeast of Los Angeles will be closed until at least next week after a squirrel tested positive for plague, the LA Times reports. Officials are dusting squirrel burrows in the surrounding national forest in an attempt to kill fleas, which can transmit the disease to humans."It...

Flea-Ridden Resort to Winehouse: No More Dogs!
 Flea-Ridden Resort 
 to Winehouse: 
 No More Dogs! 

Flea-Ridden Resort to Winehouse: No More Dogs!

Plus, Marilyn Manson grosses us all out some more

(Newser) - Amy Winehouse is bringing fleas to St. Lucia. Her swanky resort quarters had to be fumigated thanks to the “five or six” stray dogs she’s adopted, a source tells the Sun, and management banned her from rescuing any more animals. Elsewhere:
  • The latest in a series of TMI

Feds Itchy Over Flea Repellent Side Effects

(Newser) - Federal regulators want pet owners to apply flea and tick repellents carefully while authorities scratch around to ensure the products are safe, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency recorded 44,000 pet-health complaints related to topical pest repellents—ranging from skin irritation to death. Most...

Vacuuming Sucks Fleas to Doom
Vacuuming Sucks Fleas to Doom

Vacuuming Sucks Fleas to Doom

Professor finds fleas' journey into cleaner is a one-way trip

(Newser) - Does vacuuming kill fleas? The answer is yes, according to a retired Ohio professor, the Columbus Dispatch reports. In a study he did years ago for an appliance company, Fred Hink sucked up 100 fleas at a time with a vacuum cleaner and was surprised to find very few of...

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