Last Friday a second Arizona County confirmed detection of the plague in fleas, just one week after the first county found prairie dogs in the area carrying fleas diseased with the plague.
Coconino County was the first Arizona location where it appeared, and now the Navajo County Health Department (NCHD) has confirmed it’s found the disease as well.
Navajo County advises people to watch for sudden die-offs of groups of prairie dogs or rodents, which might be an indicator of the plague. Officials have notified residents and plan to treat and closely monitor the rodent burrows.”
NCHD reported the infected fleas were found in the town of Taylor and through its Facebook page urged residents to take certain precautions to reduce their risk of exposure.
Among those precautions are: avoiding rodent burrows and keeping all dogs on leashes. The NCHD urges pet owners to deflea their pets routinely and avoid handling sick or dead animals.
Those working in or visiting areas where the plague might be present are advised to use insect repellant.
A sign that the plague might be present in an area would be a sudden die-off of prairie dogs or other rodents. People who notice these occurrences are urged to contact the local health department right away.
The plague remains relatively rare throughout the United States, but has occurred mainly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.