(FORBES) — It’s a busy plague season. This week, a California child tested positive for plague after a visit to Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park. In Colorado, a Boulder resident became ill, likely from contact with a dead chipmunk, and a Pueblo County resident died of plague.
This brings this summer’s total to 6, with 3 fatal cases. Half of the cases occurred in Colorado, with the current case in Boulder being the first there in more than 20 years. The LA child is the first person to become ill in California with plague since 2006.
Plague is common in prairie dogs in the western U.S., and is carried to people usually by their fleas. It can also be transmitted by fleas from squirrels or by urban rats; the transmission from a dead chipmunk in Boulder is unusual, showing that other rodents can carry the infection.
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