Several plague cases have now been reported in 2015, leading public health departments in Colorado and California to warn the public to be on guard against flea-borne diseases.
The California Department of Public Health recommends these steps the public can take to avoid exposure to human plague:
• Never feed squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents and never touch sick or dead rodents
• Avoid walking, hiking or camping near rodent burrows
• Wear long pants tucked into socks or boot tops to reduce exposure to fleas
• Spray insect repellent containing DEET on socks and pant cuffs to reduce exposure to fleas
• Keep wild rodents out of homes, trailers, and outbuildings and away from pets.