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Campgrounds in Yosemite Park Closed After Plaque Case



Yosemite National Park Entrance Sign

    A child fell ill with the plague at Yosemite National Park. Several dead squirrels infected by the plague were found in the area and park officials were forced to close the campgrounds. The child was hospitalized but is now recovering after treatment.

    As a precautionary public health measure, park officials will apply an insecticide in the burrows where these rodents live. The campgrounds will remain closed for about five days during this treatment process.

    Plague is carried by rodents and is spread by fleas. Transmission between people is rare. The symptoms of plaque can include fever, chills, weakness, abdominal pain, and sometimes shortness of breath and swollen lymph nodes. It can be treated and cured when antibiotics are given soon after an infection. The disease can turn deadly if treatment is delayed.

    Here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself against flea-transmitted diseases:

  • Don’t feed squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents. Always avoid contact with any rodent, especially sick or dead ones.
  • Avoid hiking or camping near rodent burrows.
  • Wear long pants and tuck them into your socks or boots.
  • Spray a repellant with DEET on socks and pant cuffs.
  • Keep wild rodents away from homes, trailers and buildings. You also want to keep your pets away from these rodents.