Squir­rels in Amer­ica’s Yosemite Na­tional Park camp­ground test pos­i­tive for plague

The China Post - - LIFE -

A pop­u­lar camp­ground at Yosemite Na­tional Park in Cal­i­for­nia will be tem­po­rar­ily closed af­ter sev­eral dead squir­rels were found to be car­ry­ing the plague, of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

The move comes about a week af­ter a girl who vis­ited the park tested pos­i­tive for the plague. She was treated and has re­cov­ered.

“As an ex­tremely pre­cau­tion­ary public health mea­sure, flea treat­ment will be ap­plied to ro­dent bur­rows in Tuolumne Mead­ows Camp­ground be­cause sev­eral dead an­i­mals were tested and found to be car­ry­ing plague,” park of­fi­cials said in a state­ment.

The camp­ground will be closed from Aug. 17-21. The park it­self will re­main open, in­clud­ing all the other camp­grounds.

Plague is car­ried by squir­rels, chip­munks and other wild ro­dents and their fleas.

“By elim­i­nat­ing the fleas, we re­duce the risk of hu­man ex­po­sure and break the cy­cle of plague in ro­dents at the sites,” said Karen Smith, the di­rec­tor and state health of­fi­cer for the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Public Health.

Sep­a­rately on Fri­day, two young campers died when a huge tree branch fell on their tent, of­fi­cials said.

The youths had been stay­ing at the cen­trally lo­cated Up­per Pines Camp­ground in Yosemite Val­ley.

The names, ages and home­towns of the campers were not re­leased.

Yosemite Na­tional Park, lo­cated in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s Sierra Ne­vada moun­tains, is the third-most vis­ited of the U.S.’s na­tional parks and one of the old­est.

The web­site of nearby Se­quoia and Kings Canyon Na­tional Park warns, that “trees and branches have been fall­ing more fre­quently, pos­si­bly due to the drought and bee­tle dam­age. Watch for fall­ing trees!”

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