Risk From Plague Bacteria Very Low

Published: Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 1:47pm
(Photo courtesy of the National Institutes of Health)
A mass of bacteria that causes the plague in the foregut of a flea vector.

Coconino County officials say fleas have tested positive for the plague. Residents living near the affected area should stay vigilant and keep an eye on outdoor pets. But how worried should the rest of us be?

Anne Justice-Allen with the Arizona Game and Fish Department said that the plague is the same bacteria that wiped out millions in the middle ages, but when it comes to exposure today the risk is low.

"The risk from, of, contracting plague is very low and if they take the simple precautions that are listed either on the CDC website or the department of health services website can virtually eliminate the risk," Justice-Allen said.

She said the plague is prevalent in the Four Corners area of the state. Despite that, the number of infections is relatively low, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

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