Girl Contracts Plague After Visit To Yosemite National Park

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A girl from Los Angeles is being treated for plague after visiting Yosemite National Park.

Officials believe the child contracted the illness while camping in the park, reports NBC News.

This is not the first case of plague reported this year. A Colorado teen died from the rare septicemic plague in June after contracting it on his family’s rural property, Opposing Views previously reported.

On Wednesday, Colorado officials reported that an unidentified adult male had died from plague.

According to California State Health officer Dr. Karen Smith, the child is recovering.

Smith added that this is the first California infection of plague in humans since 2006, reports The Daily Mail. Public health officials will investigate the Yosemite and Stanislaus National Forest areas to try and determine the source of the infection.

Plague may be contracted from fleas and rodents. There are three forms of plague: bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic. Each form is treatable with antibiotics.

An average of seven cases of plague in the U.S. are reported each year.

“Although this is a rare disease, people should protect themselves from infection by avoiding any contact with wild rodents,” Smith said. “Never feed squirrels, chipmunks, or other rodents in picnic or campground areas, and never touch sick or dead rodents.”

Smith added that park visitors should wear long pants tucked into boots when hiking, use insect repellent containing the chemical diethyltoluamide (DEET) on socks and pant legs to reduce flea bite risk, and avoid camping or walking near rodent burrows.

Sources: The Daily Mail, NBC News, Opposing Views / Photo credit: Graham C99/Flickr