July 26 - A Los Angeles-area camping ground is closed after a squirrel is found carrying plague. Lily Grimes reports.
It's not usually seen as the face of a killer. But when a squirrel tested positive for plague, a section of forest outside Los Angeles was shut down. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JONATHAN FIELDING, LA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH, SAYING: "We found one today or yesterday that in fact had plague, blood showed exposure to plague and it had something like 12 fleas on it." The bacterial infection can be transmitted to humans through flea bites. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOE KELSO, NEIGHBOUR, SAYING: "We want to advise everybody to make sure they don't bring their pets, and if possible, I know that it's important for the kids to come camping, but to be sure to bring the proper insect repellant." The U.S. health department says no people are believed to be infected. Plague, known as the "Black Death", is blamed for killing 25 million Europeans in the Middle Ages.