County warns campers and hikers about squirrels, fleas

Ground squirrel tests positive for plague on Palomar Mountain

A ground squirrel that tested positive for plague on Palomar Mountain has led county health officials to warn campers and hikers to take precautions.

“The big thing is to avoid contact with squirrels and the fleas,” Department of Environmental Health director Jack Miller said.

“Campers should set up tents away from squirrel burrows, and hikers and campers should never feed squirrels and warn their children not to play with squirrels.’’

A squirrel trapped at Cedar Grove Campground on Palomar Mountain was the first reported case of plague in San Diego County this year.

Plague is a bacterial disease of wild rodents that can be transmitted to people by fleas that feed on the blood of a sick animal and then bite humans.

For more information about plague call the Vector Control Program at 858-694-2888 or visit the website at www.sdvector.com.

   
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