Local California Health Officials Confirming the First Human Case of the Plague in the State Since 2015 (and the Fourth Since 2006).

August 18, 2020
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A South Lake Tahoe resident has tested positive for plague.

  • Officials said the person is an avid walker and could have gotten bit by a flea while walking their dog in South Lake Tahoe.
  • The plague is transmitted to humans via fleas who became infected with the bacteria after feeding on rodents, like squirrels or mice. Dogs and cats can also transmit the bacteria via fleas.
  • The plague is treatable with antibiotics, but it can still be fatal. According to the CDC, there are seven human cases on average each year. In 2015, there were two human cases of the plague in California – both recovered.
  • El Dorado County Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams cautioned that although extremely rare, the plague is “naturally present in many parts of California, including higher elevation areas of El Dorado County. It’s important that individuals take precautions for themselves and their pets when outdoors, especially while walking, hiking and/or camping in areas where wild rodents are present.”

by Jenna Lee,