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Fleas test positive for the plague in two Arizona counties

Fleas test positive for "deadly plague"

Yuma,Arizona - Two Arizona counties are warning the public after finding fleas in the region testing positive for the plague. Both Navajo and Coconino counties are urging the public to stay away from the active plague.

According to a statement released by Coconino County, fleas collected in the Doney Park area and the Red Lake area, both tested positive for Yersinia pestis, in tests that were conducted by the Center for Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University.

In Navajo County, fleas collected in the area of Taylor, a town approximately 16 miles (25.75 km) north of Show Low, tested positive for Yersinia pestis. These tests were also conducted by the Center for Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University.

Health officials also encourage the following tips to reduce exposure risks around infected areas:

-Do not handle sick or dead animals

-Prevent pets from roaming loose

-De-flea pets routinely

-Avoid rodent burrows and fleas

-Use insect repellents, when visiting or working in areas where the Plague might be active or rodents might be present

-Wear rubber gloves and other protecting when cleaning and skinning wild animals

-Do not camp next to rodent burrows, and avoid sleeping directly on the ground

Dr. Cheryl Haugo of Desert Veterinary Clinic says, Yuma County hasn't been tested positive for fleas, but it doesn't mean they aren't in our area.

"We see them a lot in cat colonies, the cats that go outside. Cats usually spread them to dogs and humans-dogs don't usually have fleas, but we do see some. Clearing out your brush, cutting your tree, and keeping your property as safe as possible.Any rodent can carry it." 


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