California plague case is the first after two people reported five years back. The California Department of Public Health notified that a case of plague at South Lake Tahoe, who tested positive a local resident who is under medical care while recovering at home.
Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by fleas that have acquired it from infected squirrels, chipmunks and other wild rodents. Dogs and cats may also carry plague-infected fleas.
Symptoms include fever, nausea, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes and usually show up within two weeks of initial contact with an infected animal. The disease can be treated with antibiotics, but if it’s not caught early, can turn deadly.
“It’s important that individuals take precautions for themselves and their pets when outdoors, especially while walking, hiking and/or camping in areas where wild rodents are present,” said El Dorado County Public Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. “Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious.”
Plague disease killed millions of people in Europe in the Middle Ages in a series of outbreaks known as the Black Death. However, now it is very rare, especially in the U.S.