Squirrel Tests Positive for Bubonic Plague Forcing Campground Closures
By angelamontana

Posted: July 29, 2013

A squirrel tested positive for the Bubonic Plague at a California campsite, and there are now three reported campsite closures in the state.  According to a recent article at dailymail.co.uk, here are a few statistics concerning the Bubonic Plague:

  • This is the third positive test in the area since 2007
  • Campgrounds have been closed for at least seven days
  • US plague cases number in the single digits annually

article-0-1B015366000005DC-307_634x337The article states that the “Bubonic plague is transferred to humans through bites from infected fleas, with symptoms including enlarged lymph glands near the flea bites accompanied almost immediately by fever and chills. Untreated, the plague can infect the blood and even the lungs, sometimes resulting in pneumonic plague. This is usually remedied with a round of antibiotic treatment, officials said.”

People recreating in the area are advised to not bring their pets and also to also use insect repellents, such as DEET, which is not safe for pets, to “ward off fleas”.

The bubonic plague has been blamed for the deaths of as many as 100 million people during the 1300s. Though plague outbreaks aren’t as common in recent times, a Chinese man from Sichuan Province died in 2012 from the disease after eating a dead marmot. Cases of the once-deadly infection number in the single digits annually in the US and are confined to the western half of the country.

Let’s hope that the Bubonic Plague doesn’t make it up Montana.

Check out the following news clip for more information:

(Information provided by dailymail.co.uk and newsy.com; Cover photo: youtube.com)