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Two Arizona Counties Confirm Fleas Testing Positive for Plague

Posted by feww on August 14, 2017

Submitted by a Redaer

“A sudden die-off of prairie dogs and rodents, may be an indicator of plague” –Navajo County PHS

Navajo County Public Health officials have confirmed that fleas collected in the Taylor area have tested positive for plague.

The Coconino County Public Health Services District confirmed last week that fleas found on prairie dogs in the Red Lake area had the disease.

The most common way for humans to contract the disease is through the disease-carrying fleas on their pets or rodents.

Plague is a disease that affects humans and other mammals. It is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected with plague. Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague. Without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death. Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia. [CDC]

The last urban outbreak of rat-associated plague in the United States occurred in Los Angeles in 1924-1925.

 

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