The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced on Tuesday that a presumed case of the plague has been identified in a visitor to the state from Georgia.
They state that the individual had visited Yosemite National Park prior to becoming ill. Confirmatory testing is currently underway by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDPH confirms that plague has been confirmed in wildlife residing at the Tuolumne and Crane Flat campgrounds within Yosemite. They also state that this presents little risk to human health and treatment activity has begun at select campgrounds within the park.
“The California Department of Public Health and Yosemite National Park were very proactive in their campaign to educate visitors about plague,” CDPH Director and State Health Officer Karen Smith said. “Warnings issued in California regarding plague were useful all the way across the country in Georgia. Those warnings helped the patient get the prompt medical attention necessary to recover from this illness.”
The CDPH warns the public that contact with wild rodents should be avoided whenever possible and that insect repellant should be used in order to limit exposure to fleas.
Plague symptoms include chills, high fever, weakness and swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, groin and armpit. Any individual who develops these symptoms are urged to seek medical attention and notify medical care personnel of any camping activity in the wilderness or if they have been in contact with fleas or rodents.