Yosemite National Park closed another campsite after it was discovered that squirrels in that area had died of the plague. The plague is spread through fleas, so the campsite needs to be treated to kill those fleas before reopening.
According to RT.com on August 15, these campsites book up months in advance so the people holding reservations for next week at the 304-site Tuolumne Meadows Campground will be out of luck. The Yosemite officials said that those folks with reservations on the days the campsite will be closed are being contacted and their reservations canceled, according to MSN News.
This is the second Yosemite National Park campground to shut down for five days. The first campsite shut-down last week and it reopened on Friday. The Crane Flat Campground was closed after a child was found to have contracted the plague while camping in at that site.
According to MSN, “The case marked the first time a human was known to be infected with the centuries-old scourge, which is carried by rodents and the fleas that live on them, in California since 2006.” The child is still in the hospital recovering.
This week it was two dead squirrels that were found to have the plague, which is spread to humans by fleas, so treating the area to rid the fleas is considered an important precaution. CDPH director and state health officer Karen Smith said:
“Although this is a rare disease, and the current risk to humans is low, eliminating the fleas is the best way to protect the public from the disease.” Smith added, “By eliminating the fleas, we reduce the risk of human exposure and break the cycle of plague in rodents at the sites. People can protect themselves from infection by avoiding any contact with wild rodents.”
Officials are closing the campsite from noon on Monday and it will reopen on noon Friday, giving the workers the time in between to spray the area and the rodent holes for fleas.