Tags: arizona | fleas | plague

Arizona Fleas Carry Plague, Health Officials Confirm

Arizona Fleas Carry Plague, Health Officials Confirm
(Natal'ya Buzuevskaya/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 August 2017 03:22 PM

Fleas in two Arizona counties — Navajo and Coconino — are currently carrying the bubonic plague, a rare disease that led to the deaths of millions of people during the Middle Ages.

Navajo County Public Health officials confirmed the news on Friday after the fleas tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacteria responsible for causing the bubonic plague, according to ABC News.

No sicknesses or deaths connected to the plague in Arizona have been reported, but health officials in Navajo and Coconino have issued a warning about the infected fleas, Newsweek noted.

Officials said people can fall victim to the plague if bitten by one of the infected fleas. People can also contract the disease from bodily fluids of infected people or animals.

"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 warning states, according to ABC news. "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."

Health officials also encouraged people living, working or visiting the region to take serious precautions by avoiding any contact with sick or dead animals that may have been infected.

While news of the plague may come as a shock to some, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said studies show that bubonic plague surfaces from time to time in southern U.S. states during cool summers that usually come after wet winters.

According to the CDC, the rare plague includes symptoms like the fever, headache and chills.

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Fleas in two Arizona counties - Navajo and Coconino - are currently carrying the bubonic plague, a rare disease that led to the deaths of millions of people during the Middle Ages.
arizona, fleas, plague
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2017-22-15
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 03:22 PM
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