California identifies first human plague case since 2015

The California Department of Public Health confirmed that a state resident has tested positive for plague.

The resident, an avid walker, may have been infected by a flea while walking a dog in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The resident is receiving medical attention and recovering at home.

The last reported human cases of plague in California were two people who tested positive in 2015. Both were treated and recovered.

Plague bacteria are most commonly transmitted by fleas that have acquired the bacteria from infected squirrels, chipmunks and other wild rodents. Symptoms of plague, which typically appear within two weeks of exposure, include fever, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. The state health department regularly monitors rodent populations for plague.

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