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Campground Infested With Plague Squirrels

Posted 7/26/2013 6:30 am by
"I'm riddled with disease!"

“I’m riddled with disease!”

If you were going to go camping in one of the many beautiful wilderness areas around Los Angeles in Angeles National Forest, then you’d better pack some pesticide and watch out for weird animal behavior.  As it turns out, one of the world’s most deadly diseases has been found in the area.  Three LA-area campgrounds have been shut down after an outbreak of bubonic plague.  The bubonic plague is better known as the Black Death, which killed tens of millions of people across Europe in the Middle Ages.  The disease is treatable these days, but very rare, and officials hope the warning will keep the disease rare.

The affected campgrounds are Twisted Arrow, Broken Blade, and Pima Loops at Table Mountain.  Table Mountain is part of the San Gabriel Mountain chain near Wrightwood, California.  The area is home to a lot of ground squirrels, and the ground squirrels are a common carrier of plague due to flea infestations in their burrows.  Apparently, this area is pretty popular with bubonic plague carriers, because this is not the first time this has happened there.

“Plague is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, which is why we close affected campgrounds and recreational areas as a precaution while preventive measures are taken to control the flea population,” said Jonathan Fielding, the head of Los Angeles County’s Health Department.  “Protection with an insect repellent containing Deet is also recommended for persons visiting the Angeles National Forest and engaging in outside recreational activities in other areas of LA county.”

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