A public health warning has been broadcasted by Navajo County, Arizona, following the positive detection of the plague among fleas collected from the county.
Fleas that were tested in Coconino County, Arizona, were also found to have Yersinia pestis, which can cause three various forms of the plague in humans.
Navajo County requested that people take precautionary measures should they find themselves within close vicinity to where the disease was detected and a statement was issued warning residents of symptoms that relate to the bubonic plague.
The county asked for cooperation in reporting incidents of sudden deaths of rodents, rabbits, or prairie dogs, as a bite of the infected flea could transmit the disease to other animals, as well as to humans.
Advice has been issued on how to avoid contracting the disease and what to do if you believe you already have it. Symptoms include fever, headaches, chills, muscle pain, weakness, and swollen lymph glands.
Although it can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early, when left untreated the disease can spread through the bloodstream and infect the lungs.
According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, 96 reported cases of the plague have occurred between 2000 and 2015 and 12 patients have died from it.