Story at a glance

  • The U.S. Forest Service for Lake Tahoe announced that cases of the plague have been found in its rodent populations.
  • Areas of Lake Tahoe are being closed while treatments are conducted.
  • Last month, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment discovered cases of the plague among fleas and animals, as well.

Areas of Lake Tahoe are being closed after cases of the plague were found in chipmunks. 

The U.S. Forest Service for Lake Tahoe made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday.

“Based on positive plague tests and planned treatments, Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Kiva Beach parking areas will be closed Sunday through Friday,” the agency said. “The Tallac Site / Kiva Picnic parking area will be open. Visitor Center staff and volunteers will be at the Tallac Historic Site.”

 

Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and typically found in rodent fleas. Most humans contract the plague by being bitten by an infected flea or handling an infected animal, such as rats, squirrels, chipmunks and even prairie dogs.

Symptoms of the plague include the sudden onset of a high fever and swollen lymph nodes. The infection is treatable in humans and animals if caught and addressed early.


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Last month, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE discovered cases of the plague among fleas and animals as well. A 10-year-old girl from La Plata County died from complications stemming from the plague.

According to the CDPHE, the best ways to avoid the plague are: avoiding fleas, staying away from areas rodents inhabit, avoiding contact with both wild and dead rodents, consulting with a pest company to prevent rodent infestations, contacting a veterinarian if you notice symptoms in a pet and making children aware of these precautions.


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Published on Aug 04, 2021