"The risk to human health remains low," California's public health department says
A second tourist has been diagnosed with plague after visiting Yosemite National Park in California, state officials announced Tuesday.
A patient from Georgia went to the doctor and tested positive for the disease after learning that some areas of the park were closed off as park authorities sprayed pesticides to kill plague-carrying fleas, MSNBC reported. Earlier this month, a Los Angeles girl also came down with the disease, which is usually very rare in humans, after visiting the park.
“Warnings issued in California regarding plague were useful all the way across the country in Georgia,” California Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith said in a statement. “Those warnings helped the patient get the prompt medical attention necessary to recover from this illness.”
Presence of the plague has also been confirmed in two dead squirrels that were found in the park. When an infected rodent dies, its fleas can spread the infection to other warm-blooded mammals, California’s public health department says, though “the risk to human health remains low.”
The plague has claimed lives in Colorado this year: An adult died earlier this month, and a 16-year-old boy died in June. Two other Colorado residents who caught the disease recovered after treatment.