Fleas In Arizona Confirmed Positive For The Plague

This includes avoiding sick or dead animals not letting pets roam and avoiding rodent burrows

One week ago, fleas on prairie dogs in Coconino County tested positive for the disease.

The Septicemic plague spread in the bloodstream from fleas or someone else infected by th plague.

The plague is an infamous disease mainly known for killing millions of people in Europe during the 1300s in a pandemic dubbed the Black Death.

The concerning news was confirmed when positive tests at two sites near Flagstaff found fleas were carrying the bacteria that causes plague, Yersinia pestis.

The areas affected were Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico and Oregon.

Officials are urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to life-threatening disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals.

Typically, humans get the plague by being bitten by or just coming into contact with an infected rodent, or having pets who came in contact with infected fleas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is not the first time the plague has been recorded in the country.

Residents should be on the lookout for a sudden die-off of prairie dogs and rodents, which may be an indicator of plague.

Health officials in two Arizona counties have confirmed that local fleas there are carrying the bubonic plague.

Finally the Pneumonic plague was the most infectious type, which is passed directly from person to person through airborne droplets coughed from the lungs. The CDC says modern antibiotics are effective in treating it but warns that without prompt treatment, the plague can cause serious illness or death.

For anyone concerned they could have been exposed, the health department added: "Symptoms of plague in humans generally appear within two to six days following exposure and include the following: fever, chills, headache, weakness, muscle pain, and swollen lymph glands (called "buboes") in the groin, armpits or limbs". That's harder in regions with humanitarian crises or ongoing conflicts, according to the World Health Organization. The infection is treatable is diagnosed early.

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