Arizona fleas test positive for plague

FOX 10 News |

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – It’s a word you don’t hear too often around Arizona: plague. But some fleas in northern Arizona have tested positive for plague and that has people on high alert.

To view dictionary popup window put your cursor on the blue scripture words.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be faminesStrongs 3042: limos, lee-mos´; probably from 3007 (through the idea of destitution); a scarcity of food:—dearth, famine, hunger., and pestilencesStrongs 3061: loimos, loy´-mos; of uncertain affinity; a plague (literally, the disease, or figuratively, a pest):—pestilence(-t), and earthquakes, in divers places.”
—Matthew 24:7

Plague can be deadly to people and animals, but if found early on, it’s very treatable with antibiotics. That being said, residents of Coconino County should be looking out for fleas.

Fleas with plague were discovered in prairie dog burrows northeast of Flagstaff in the Doney Park area.

“It was actually during routine surveillance.. they found fleas, then gave the fleas to the lab at NAU,” said Marlene Gaither of the Public Health Services District in Coconino County.

In 2011, a cat got plague. Gaither says dogs often show no symptoms, but cats will become very ill from the disease. Pet owners should de-flea their pets and check for the pests.

The fleas that tested positive for plague were found in Doney Park, but anyone above 4,500 feet should take precautions.
“The incubation period from the time the flea bites you to symptoms would be one to seven days. The symptoms are sudden fever, like 104° or higher, body aches.. really bad chills and so you would want to get to a doctor,” said Gaither.

If you plan to go camping in the county, use bug repellant. Hunters should wear gloves when cleaning and skinning wild animals to avoid exposure.

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