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Fleas carrying three forms of Plague found in Arizona

News 2017-08-21

Two incidences of infected fleas have been reported from the US Southwest state, Arizona.

Yahoo7 reports that public health officials confirmed fleas from two Arizona counties currently carry a biological agent, which can potentially develop into Plague (also known as bubonic plague).

Through the Navajo County Facebook page, the public health officials confirmed that “fleas collected in the Taylor area have tested positive for Plague (Yersinia pestis).” They also urged the public to take precautions by:

  • not handling sick or dead animals;
  • keeping pets on a leash or contained on private property;
  • immediately using the appropriate flea killing medication on pets;
  • avoiding rodent burrows;
  • using rubber gloves and other necessary protective gear when cleaning or skinning wild animals;
  • not camping next to burrows or sleeping on the ground; and
  • immediately treating sick cats at licensed veterinaries.

The biological agent found in the Arizonian fleas is the same bacterium resulting in the wide spread Bubonic Plague disaster of the Middle Ages, resulting in millions of deaths.

Some people may be aware of pet diseases caused by fleas (like tapeworm), but they may not know that fleas can spread human diseases like the bubonic plague, murine typhus and cat-scratch germs. Fleas can also trigger allergies and skin conditions; cause itchiness, redness and discomfort (if bitten); and result in secondary infections.

There have been no reported cases of Plague infected fleas in New Zealand, but the public should still take every precaution to avoid fleas from entering their home. If you find fleas in your home or on your pet, totally eradicate them with help from the professionals at Flick Anticimex. Call us today at 0800 101 969 or read more about our flea treatment on our Flea page. 

Published: 2017-08-21

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