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Fleas in two Arizona counties are carrying bubonic plague, an infectious disease that took the lives of millions of people in the Middle Ages, according to news reports. So far there have been no reported illness and deaths.
Health officials in Navajo and Coconino counties in Arizona recently issued a warning to the general public after fleas in the northern part of the state tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes the bubonic plague. Humans can contract the plague in a number of ways. In addition to flea bites, people can pick up the bacteria by handling the fluids or tissue of a rodent or another animal that has the illness. The plague can also be transmitted through bodily fluids such as respiratory droplets.
Navajo - County - Health - Department - Public
“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, ABC news reported. “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.”
The plague is primarily found on the West Coast of the U.S., especially the southwestern U.S. when cool summers follow wet winters. At the end of June, three people in New Mexico tested positive for the plague as well, according to NPR.
Dr - Amesh - Adalja - Health - Committee
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a public health committee member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and senior associate at Johns Hopkins Center for...
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