“#California resident diagnosed with the plague for first time in five years”
August 18, 2020 | 8:08am
The Truckee River in Tahoe National Forest in Northern California.
Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images
El Dorado County officials said they were informed about the infection by the California Department of Health. The patient, who is recovering at home, was walking along the Truckee River Corridor, officials said.
If detected early, the deadly illness can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Symptoms, which usually show up within two weeks of exposure, may include fever, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes.
“Plague is naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County,” said El Dorado County Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams, according to ABC News.
“It’s important that individuals take precautions for themselves and their pets when outdoors, especially while walking, hiking and/or camping in areas where wild rodents are present. Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious,” she added.
From 2016 to 2019, a total of 20 rodents with evidence of exposure to plague bacterium were discovered in the South Lake Tahoe, the network reported. There were no reports of plague-associated illnesses during that time.
“The last reported cases of plague in California were two human cases which were exposed to infected rodents or their fleas in Yosemite National Park in 2015,” the El Dorado County Health and Human Services said in a statement.
“Both people were treated and recovered. These were the first reported human cases in the state since 2006.”
Last month, public health officials in Colorado announced that a squirrel had tested positive for the bubonic plague — the first such case in the state this year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is an average of just seven human plague cases a year.
The World Health Organization says the mortality rate is estimated to be between 8 percent to 10 percent.
With Post wires
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