A flea from a yellow chipmunk in the Lake Tahoe area tested positive for plague, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
On Tuesday the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit of the Forest Service, El Dorado County officials and the California Department of Public Health reported they confirmed the presence of plague in the flea taken from Fallen Leaf Campground.
Warning signs have been posted in the area.
The Forest Service issued the following tips for the public:
Do not feed squirrels, chipmunks or other wild rodents.
Never touch sick, injured or dead rodents.
Do not camp, sleep or rest near animal burrows or areas where dead rodents are observed.
Look for and heed posted warning signs.
Wear long pants tucked into boot tops and spray insect repellent containing DEET on socks and pant cuffs to reduce exposure to fleas.
Leave pets home if possible; otherwise keep pets on a leash. Do not allow pets to approach sick or dead rodents or explore rodent burrows. Protect pets with flea control products.
Pet cats are highly susceptible to plague and can pose a direct threat to humans. Keep cats away from rodents. Consult a veterinarian if your cat becomes sick after being in contact with rodents.
If you get sick after being in an area where plague is known to occur, consult a physician and tell them you may have been exposed to plague.
State and local health officials will continue to monitor plague-prone areas. To report a sick or dead rodent or for questions about plague, please contact El Dorado County Environmental Management at (530) 573-3450.