Plague infected squirrel discovered in National Forest near Los Angeles
The diseased animal - a ground squirrel - was found to be carrying the disease, which if not treated with antibiotics is usually fatal
Health officials in Los Angeles have confirmed this week that a squirrel found in a National Forest in California was infected with plague.
As a precaution parts of the Angeles National Forest near Wrightwood have been closed since Wednesday.
Visitors were ordered to leave the park after the creature was trapped in a routine check. Officials have said no individuals in the area have been infected with the disease, which is known as the Black Death.
The animal - a ground squirrel - was found to be carrying the disease, which if not treated with antibiotics is usually fatal.
The plague was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 25 million Europeans during the 14th century. It is usually transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas.
"It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal," the health department chief, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, said in a statement.
According to a health advisory notice issued by the County of Los Angeles Public Health department the plague has been known to reside among the the ground squirrels in the San Gabriel Mountains.
If infected with bubonic plague symptoms in humans include enlargement of lymph glands (buboes) near the flea bite along with fast onset of fever and chills.
Previously plague-positive squirrels have been found in the area in 2010, one in 2007, two in 1996 and one in 1995.
Campers at the affected sites include the Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow, and Pima Loops areas - have been informed.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...