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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Plague-infested squirrel closes US park

Article via Sky News :

" A plague-infested squirrel has been found by US officials, forcing the closure of campgrounds at California National Park.

The squirrel was determined to be infected with the bacterium Yersinia pestis - which causes plague.

Plague, also known as Black Death, was estimated to have caused the deaths around half the population of Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries.

L.A. County health officer Dr Jonathan Fielding said in a statement: 'It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal.'

Officials are investigating whether any other squirrels are infected, and have closed the campgrounds at the Angles National Forest as they dust for fleas that may be carrying the plague."

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