"Los Angeles-Area Campgrounds Closed After Squirrel Found With Plague"

"Authorities have evacuated and shut down a section of a national forest outside Los Angeles for at least a week after a ground squirrel was found there infected with the plague, county public health officials said on Thursday."

"The squirrel tested positive for plague after it was trapped in the Angeles National Forest during "routine surveillance activities," the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a written health advisory.

Health officials said that as a precaution, visitors were ordered to leave three campgrounds and a recreation area of the Angeles National Forest, which encompasses some 655,000 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of metropolitan Los Angeles.

Plague, known as the "Black Death" when it was blamed for killing some 25 million Europeans during the Middle Ages, is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas."

Dan Whitcomb reports for Reuters July 26, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 07/26/2013