Case of Plague Strikes California

FAIRFAX, Va. (August 17, 2015) – A child recently became infected with plague during a visit to Yosemite National Park in California. This is the first case of plague the state has seen since 2006. Two people have died from the disease so far this year in Colorado.

Although most people associate plague with the Middle Ages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an average of seven case reported each year in the U.S. Most cases occur in rural areas in the southwestern U.S.

The plague bacterium is carried by rodents and the fleas that feed on them. The infected flea can then pass it on to humans through its bite. The illness can also be spread directly by infected animals through bites or scratches, and infected pets can pass on the potentially-fatal disease as well.