Plague detected at Lake Tahoe-area campground

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(Reno Gazette-Journal)

RENO, Nev. — A flea from a yellow chipmunk in the Lake Tahoe area tested positive for plagueUSA Today reports.

On Tuesday, the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit of the Forest Service, El Dorado County, Calif., officials and the California Department of Public Health reported they confirmed the presence of plague in the flea taken from Fallen Leaf Campground. The campground is about a quarter mile north of Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe.

According to the Forest Service, the flea was taken during routine plague surveillance May 18, with state results confirming it was the plague June 2.

Warning signs have been posted in the area.

The Forest Service release said plague is “naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County.” More testing will be done this week.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plague is an infectious disease. Rodents, humans and certain other animals can be affected by the plague. People can become infected when bitten by a flea that is infected with the plague bacteria.

Plague is most common in southwestern parts of the country, including Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, the CDC said.

Read more: USA Today