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Human Plague Diagnosed In Child Who Visited Yosemite

Roger Ward / Flickr.com Creative Commons

Entrance to Yosemite National Park, as seen June 17, 2011.

Roger Ward / Flickr.com Creative Commons

A child from Los Angeles County has been diagnosed with human plague. The child was hospitalized after visiting Yosemite National Park in July.

The child is recovering, and no one else in the camping party has reported symptoms.

Danielle Buttke is with the National Park Service. She recommends visitors always take appropriate precautions.

IMPORTANT

"The most important thing to do is wear insect repellant, don't disturb or camp near or around rodent boroughs, and be sure if you do become ill with a fever, a swollen lymph node, or sight of an insect bite within two to six days after visiting a wild area you should go to your doctor," Buttke says.

She says officials don't know exactly how the child was infected.

INVESTIGATION

"The highest risk occurs when you have an obvious rodent die off. When the fleas lose their normal hosts and go looking for human hosts. And, we're not seeing an obvious rodent die off at this point in time," Buttke says.

The last time there was a human case of the plague in Yosemite was 1959. The last case in California was in 2006.