RENO, Nev. (AP) — Health officials in California have confirmed that the corpse of a squirrel found near Lake Tahoe tested positive for plague.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports (http://on.rgj.com/1IQgWM2 ) that the squirrel's body was found in South Lake Tahoe in mid-August. El Dorado County Health Department officials say the test results came back Sep. 2.
Squirrel hunting season recently opened in California. El Dorado County employee Karen Bender says plague is naturally present parts of California.
The California Department of Public Health has also investigated two recent cases of human plague.
The infectious bacterium is spread by wild rodents and their fleas and causes fever, nausea and swollen lymph nodes. Humans can contract the disease through bites or close contact with an infected animal.
Plague can be treated with antibiotics.
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com