Published On: Tue, Aug 18th, 2020

California plague: First bubonic plague case for five years recorded in Lake Tahoe | World | News

The resident was confirmed to have contracted the fatal disease by the El Dorado County Department of Health and Human Services. While insects and some animals carry the bubonic plague in the region, the resident is the first human case of the disease in five years.

A statement from the county department said the resident was an “avid walker”, and may have been bitten by an infected flea while walking their dog.

The statement added their infection may have taken place in the Tahoe Keys area or along the “Truckee River Corridor” north of Highway 50.

It also said the patient is currently recovering at home under the care of medical professionals.

Symptoms of the plague include fever, nausea, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes and usually show up within two weeks of initial contact with an infected animal.

READ MORE: China bubonic plague spreads: Beijing orders second lockdown after new horror death

Dr Nancy Williams, El Dorado County Public Health Officer, warned residents of the area to be cautious when hiking near Lake Tahoe.

She added in the statement from the county department: “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.

“Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious.”

But the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention report there are, on average, only seven cases of the plague a year.

The CDC said the last urban plague outbreak in the US was in Los Angeles from 1924 to 1925.

More than 80 percent of all US plague cases have been the bubonic variant.

Most US cases of the plague are seen from Northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, and southern Colorado, to California, southern Oregon, and far western Nevada.

China has also seen a troubling resurgence of the plague, after authorities sealed off parts of Inner Mongolia after a resident died of the bubonic plague.

The Baotou Municipal Health Commission said in a statement that the death was reported on August 2.

The commission added nine close contacts and 26 secondary contacts of the patient have been quarantined and tested negative for the plague.

It is the second plague death reported in Inner Mongolia this year, and has thrown the region into a Level 3 lockdown.

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