According to CNN, the plague was found in a squirrel in Riverside County, California. The squirrel received it from infected fleas. “It’s not something that people should panic about, but we do want them to be educated so they can protect their families and their pets,” Dottie Merki, of the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health, told CNN.
The Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch reported that it can cause the Bubonic, Septicemic and Pneumonic Plagues. No need to panic though, the CDC reports that the plague infects about 7 people each year. They say there are no vaccines right now, but they are being developed. And that in can be treated, usually within the first 24 hours though.
The warning issued by the county says:
- Avoid all contact with chipmunks, squirrels, and other wild animals — and do not feed them.
- Do not camp, sleep, or rest near animal burrows.
- Leave pets at home or use flea powder and flea collars.
- See a doctor if you become sick within a week of any exposure.
- Don’t touch sick or dead animals.
This strain can be spread through animal bites, flea bites, and person-to-person if a human becomes infected. There is no word on how it got there, but earlier this year, a squirrel tested positive for the plague in San Diego County.
Personally, I wouldn’t panic, though to be fair: I am on the eastern side of the country. If it spreads east then I may become a bit concerned. Hopefully, it’s isolated.