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Plague Could Affect Mother Lode Residents

Sonora, CA– Health officials are warning local residents to take precautions against a deadly infection known as plague.

Cathy Amos with the Tuolumne County Health Department says the disease is a highly infectious bacterial disease that is spread by wild animals, like squirrels, and their fleas. When an infected animal gets sick and dies, its fleas can carry the disease to other animals and even humans.

Amos says symptoms include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. She adds that the disease can be cured if detected in the early stages. Since 1970, there have been 42 cases of plague in California.

Officials say simply avoiding all contact with wild animals can best prevent the disease but for those who like the outdoors, it is important to avoid hiking or camping near rodent homes and to spray repellent on clothes. For pets, officials advise leaving animals at home when traveling to rural areas and getting flea repellent for dogs and cats.

Written by Alisha.cruz