Fleas found to carry the plague in at least 2 Arizona counties

Key Points
  • Fleas carrying the plague have been found in a second county in Arizona.
  • Navajo county joined Coconino county in reporting the disease
  • Residents and visitors are warned to avoid dead animals and areas where fleas may be present
Fleas found to carry the plague in at least 2 Arizona counties

Fleas have been found to carry the plague in at least two Arizona counties, a publication reported.

Fleas carrying the disease were detected most recently in Navajo county, according to a report by ABC News. The first case was first reported a week ago when officials in Coconino County found infected fleas on local prairie dogs.

Navajo county warned residents to be careful while hiking or in areas where there may be dead animals or fleas present, ABC said.

"Navajo County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals," the Navajo County Health Department said, according to ABCNews. "The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal."

A primitive gas mask in the shape of a bird's beak. A common belief at the time was that the plague was spread by birds. It was thought that by dressing in a bird-like mask, the wearer could draw the plague away from the patient and onto the garment the plague doctor wore.
Manuel Velasco | Getty Images

CNBC attempted to reach the Navajo County Health Department for additional information, but a call was left unanswered on Sunday.

The plague still regularly surfaces around the world. According to the CDC, it mostly appears in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar.

Still, the very mention of it still sends chills up the spine of some observers.

The "Black Plague" wiped out about 60 percent of the European population during the 1300s, according to the CDC. Information on symptoms can be found on the CDC website.

Read the full story on ABCNews.

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