Fleas in parts of Arizona test positive for plague
Health officials in two Arizona counties say that fleas in the area have tested positive for the plague, ABC News reports.
Navajo County Public Health said Friday they found fleas that tested positive for the disease linked to millions of deaths during the middle ages.
"Navajo County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals," the public health warning states. "The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal."
A similar warning was issued by Coconino County Public Health Services District, which is also located in northern Arizona.
Health officials are urging anyone who is in the area to take extra precautions to limit their exposure to fleas, which includes avoiding sick or dead animals, keeping pets from running loose, regularly treating pets for fleas, taking sick pets to the vet, and keeping food in rodent-proof containers, and avoiding rodent dens.
The Centers for Disease Control says that the plague happens naturally in western states, particularly during cooler summers that follow wet winters.
CDC officials said that some of the symptoms of the plague include fever, headache, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes.