Plague-Infested Squirrels Prompt Closure Of Angeles National Forest Campgrounds
WRIGHTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A ground squirrel has tested positive for the plague in the Angeles National Forest, officials said.
The squirrel captured in a trap on July 16 tested positive this week for bubonic plague, which is spread to humans through infected fleas.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health closed the Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain campgrounds Wednesday as a precaution.
The sites will be closed for at least seven days.
Squirrel burrows in the area will be dusted for fleas and further testing of the animals will be done before the area is reopened to the public.
Symptoms of the plague include enlarged lymph glands near the flea bite, as well as fever and chills, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control Prevention. It can be fatal if untreated.
The last time an infected animal was found was in 2010, KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reported.
County health officials warn park visitors to use insecticides and repellents with Deet. Pets should also have flea protection.