South Tahoe recreation areas reopened after plague treatment


The road to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center was closed for several days as authorities mitigated threats of plague in the area. (Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif .– It took a few days longer than expected, but the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Kiva Beach reopened on Tuesday after areas were treated for plague-infested fleas.

Visitors to the beach and visitor center were evicted from the area on Sunday, July 31, as a precautionary measure due to positive plague tests on chipmunks without human contact, the county spokesperson said. El Dorado, Carla Hass.

The areas were closed all week and on weekends as El Dorado County Vector Control carried out eradication treatments.

According to El Dorado County Public Health, plague is naturally present in many areas of California, including at higher elevations, and advises to be careful with animals that may carry it.

“It is important that individuals take precautions for themselves and their pets when they are outdoors, especially when walking, hiking or camping in areas where wild rodents are found. present, “Public health chief Dr. Nancy Williams said in a 2020 press release last year when a South Tahoe resident was the first in five years in California to contract the plague. “Human cases of plague are extremely rare but can be very serious. “

Plague is an infectious bacterial disease that is spread by squirrels, chipmunks and other wild rodents and their fleas. People can become infected through close contact with infected animals or the bite of an infected flea.

Authorities say symptoms of plague usually appear within two weeks of exposure to an infected animal or flea and include fever, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes.

“Plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics if caught early,” said Lisa Herron, spokesperson for USDA’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Plague can be prevented by avoiding contact with these rodents and their fleas, and by keeping pets away from rodents and their burrows. Human cases of plague are rare.

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