As if fires, smoke and floods were not enough, plague has now surfaced. It is just about an annual occurrence.
The Inyo Mosquito Control manager, Jerry Oser, reported that as part of its annual plague surveillance and control program, his department has recently detected evidence of an ongoing plague infection in wild rodent populations at Taboose Creek Campground north of Independence.
Still pending are results of rodent samples collected at Baker Creek Campground and Millpond County Park where plague was detected last year.
Oser notes that over many years, surveillance conducted by state and local health agencies has shown that plague infected rodents exist at numerous sites throughout Inyo and Mono counties.
Plague is transmitted through bites from infect fleas or direct contact with sick or dead rodents. Pet cats and dogs can become infected with plague. Authorities advise that you avoid all contact with rodents and their fleas. Report findings of sick or dead rodents to the Inyo County Department of Environmental health, minimize pet contact with rodents and their fleas. Camp, sleep and rest away from visible animal burrows. Wear long pants tucked into boot tops or under socks to reduce flea exposure if working or recreating in a suspect area.