California Has First Plague Case in Five Years

California's first case of plague in five years has been confirmed by health officials.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19, 2020 -- California's first case of plague in five years has been confirmed by health officials.

The patient, a resident of South Lake Tahoe, is receiving medical care while recovering at home, CBS News reported. Plague is easily treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early.

The patient is believed to have been bitten by an infected flea while walking a dog along the Truckee River corridor or in the Tahoe Keys area on Tahoe's south shore, according to health officials.

Fleas can acquire plague bacteria from infected chipmunks, squirrels and other wild rodents, and dogs and cats can also carry infected fleas, CBS News reported.

California's last confirmed plague cases were in 2015. Both patients were treated and recovered.

"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, CBS News reported. "Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious."

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