Plague Bacteria Resurfaces in California After 5 Years

There wasn’t enough for the US to be devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, being the most affected coutry in the world with over 5.6 million infections and more than 170,000 deaths. California is also the hardest hit state by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and it’s now dealing with another health threat. The officials recently confirmed a case of plague at South Lake Tahoe (resort city in California), and it’s the first one after a break of half a decade.

The California Department of Public Health announced that a citizen proved to have a positive test for the plague bacteria. He is recovering at home under medical care.

How to stay away from the plague bacteria

The best way to stay away from the plague bacteria is to avoid contact with stray dogs and cats. And if you have a dog or cat as a pet, make sure that they don’t carry any fleas. Those tiny creatures carry the bacteria from other animals like squirrels, chipmunks, and others. We may all love cats and dogs, but petting them can have some awful repercussions for our health and deliberately of the animals’ will.

What happened most likely to the Californian citizen discovered to have the plague bacteria is simple: the health officials have a strong hunch that he was bitten by an infected flea while walking his dog along the Truckee River corridor. Besides this person, the last reported cases of plague from California happened in 2015. Two people were exposed to infected rodents or fleas onboard of them in Yosemite National Park. Both citizens were recovered.

According to the World Health Organization, the plague is an infectious disease that’s caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. This zoonotic bacteria is usually found in fleas and small mammals.

Symptoms for the plague include fever, weakness, and headaches. In the bubonic form of the plague, there is also swelling of lymph nodes. Tissues can even turn black and die, while in the pneumonic form there’s shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain.

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