LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Southland child was recovering after contracting a case of human plague while camping in the Yosemite National Park, authorities said Thursday.
The child – who was identified only as a resident of Los Angeles County – became ill and was hospitalized following a visit to Stanislaus National Forest and camping at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite National Park in mid-July, according to California Department of Public Health spokeswoman Anita Gore.
Health officials are continuing to monitor the child’s family and treatment providers, but no other members of the child’s camping party reported symptoms, Gore said. The child is recovering.
As part of the investigation, officials are conducting an environmental evaluation in the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and the surrounding areas.
Plague is an infectious bacterial disease that is carried by squirrels, chipmunks and other wild rodents and their fleas. When an infected rodent becomes sick and dies, its fleas can carry the infection to other warm-blooded animals or humans.
The last reported cases of human plague in California occurred in 2005 and 2006 in Mono, Los Angeles and Kern counties. In all three cases, the patients survived following treatment with antibiotics, according to Gore.
There have been no known cases of human-to-human infection in California since 1924.
In 2014, non-human plague activity was detected in animals in San Diego County, Santa Barbara County, and five other counties statewide.