Elements of Lake Tahoe have been closed after chipmunks examined optimistic for plague

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, California – Officials are closing some areas on Lake Tahoe’s south shore after some chipmunks tested positive for plague.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports that the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Kiva Beach and their parking lots will be closed until Friday.

During this time, the US Forest Service will conduct vector control treatments in these areas.

El Dorado County spokeswoman Carla Hass said the chipmunks tested had no contact with humans.

Forest service officials expect the facilities to be open again by the weekend.

According to the El Dorado County Public Health Service, the plague is naturally present in some areas of California.

People who hike and engage in other outdoor activities should avoid contact with animals. They should do the same for their pets.

Plague is an infectious bacterial disease spread by chipmunks, other wild rodents, and their fleas. In humans, symptoms can show up within two weeks of exposure to an infected animal. These include fever, nausea, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes.

If it is detected early, it can be treated with antibiotics.

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