California resident diagnosed with the plague, marking the state's first human case in 5 years

by Bryan Brammer · Aug 18th, 2020 2:16 pm
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Last Updated Oct 14th, 2020 at 3:11 pm

A California resident located in South Lake Tahoe has been diagnosed with the plague, marking the state's first human case since 2015, according to local health officials.

The infected person, who is currently recovering at home under the care of a medical professional, may have been bitten by an infected flea while on a walk with her dog, the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency said in a statement.

Dr. Nancy Williams, the county's public health officer, said the department is still investigating the circumstances of the case.

"Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious," Williams said. "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."

The last confirmed case of the plague in California occurred in 2015, when two people were exposed to rodents or fleas while visiting Yosemite National Park.

Prior to that case, there had not been an infection in the state since 2006.

? Earlier this month, a New Mexico man in his 20s died from septicemic plague, becoming the state's second confirmed case in 2020.


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