Public health officials are investigating a peculiar case of the plague in California.
A child who recently camped at Yosemite National Park contracted the extremely rare disease this past July. The child was hospitalized shortly after and is currently recovering. No one else he was with was infected with the plague.
This investigation is on the heels of reports on a recent death of a Colorado resident who had the plague, marking the second plague death in Colorado this year.
The last time a human case of the plague—it’s often found in fleas and rodents—was reported was in 2006. Public health officials are urging the public to take precautions; counter bugs using repellant containing DEET, and avoid feeding live, wild rodents and touching dead ones.
“Never feed squirrels, chipmunks, or other rodents in picnic or campground areas, and never touch sick or dead rodents. Protect your pets from fleas and keep them away from wild animals,” said Dr. Karen Smith, the director of the California Department of Health, in a statement.
High fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes are all common symptoms of the plague. Caught in early stages, it’s treatable; too late, and the disease is fatal.