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Fleas Test Positive for Plague in Coconino County

Fleas Test Positive for Plague in Coconino County
May 05
10:24 2020

Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) officials confirmed that fleas collected in the Baderville area, northwest of Flagstaff, have tested positive for plague (Yersinia pestis).

Collecting and testing of fleas for the presence of plague was conducted by the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University. CCHHS has notified area residents and the burrows were treated. The area will be closely monitored to determine if further action is required.

This is the first location within the County where fleas have tested positive for plague this year. Because the disease is endemic in Coconino County, there are likely additional locations with
infected fleas. CCHHS Environmental Health staff will continue to collect and test flea samples from locations throughout the County.

CCHHS 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 disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal. To limit possible exposure, people are
encouraged to avoid rodent burrows and keep dogs on a leash as required by Arizona State law.

An abundance of active prairie dogs doesn’t indicate disease is present. However, a sudden dieoff of prairie dogs and rodents, may be an indicator of plague. Persons noticing a sudden dieoff of rodents or rabbits are urged to contact CCHHS Environmental Services at 928-679-8750.

Symptoms of plague in humans generally appear within two to six days following exposure and include the following: fever, chills, headache, weakness, muscle pain, and swollen lymph
glands (called “buboes”) in the groin, armpits or limbs. The disease can become septicemic (spreading throughout the bloodstream) and/or pneumonic (affecting the lungs) but is curable
with proper antibiotic therapy if diagnosed and treated early.

Fleas Test Positive for Plague in Coconino County - overview

Summary: Fleas Test Positive for Plague in Coconino County

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