SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Three ground squirrels trapped on Palomar Mountain have tested positive for plague, but the risk of transmission of the disease to humans appears to be low, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health reported Wednesday.
Two of the squirrels were caught at Cedar Grove Campground and the third was at Doane Campground, both in the north inland section of the county.
According to the DEH, positive readings for plague are common in the summer. The risk of transmission to humans is low because the squirrels' exposure to the plague bacteria was not recent, and they did not carry many of the types of fleas necessary to transmit the disease, the agency reported.
Plague killed millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages, when it was known as "Black Death." Today, it is treatable with modern antibiotics, though it can cause serious illness or death without prompt medical attention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
"Set up your tents away from squirrel burrows, do not feed the squirrels and warn your children not to play with squirrels," said Jack Miller, the DEH director.
The agency also suggests keeping dogs on leashes while at campgrounds, using flea control measures or keeping the pets at home. Also, do not touch or feed wild animals or touch sick or dead wildlife.
The DEH posts warning signs in areas where rodents test positive for plague.
The department urges anyone who falls ill within one week of visiting a plague-infested area to see a doctor. Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, chills, and tender or swollen lymph nodes.
A 2-year-old girl is in the hospital Friday with serious injuries after she fell from a fourth-floor window at an apartment complex in San Diego's University City neighborhood, police said.
A 48-year-old National City resident was killed Friday in a solo motorcycle wreck near Mount Miguel High School, authorities reported.
A brush fire that erupted in a squatters camp spread through part of a La Jolla-area canyon Friday, blackening steep open terrain near clusters of large homes but causing no reported structural damage or injuries.
A wildfire spread over hilly rural terrain east of Ramona Friday afternoon, threatening several back-country homes and destroying one of them before ground and airborne crews could subdue the flames.
Scripps Health this week announced it would be expanding its walk-in, convenient care division, Scripps HealthExpress.
The California Highway Patrol will increase enforcement in the San Diego and Oceanside areas this weekend in an effort to reduce the frequency of motorcycle crashes, authorities said Friday.
"Great progress" has been made in efforts to reunite children who were separated from their parents at the border during the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" crackdown on illegal immigration, a federal judge in San Diego said Friday.
An unlicensed and uninsured motorist, who fled the scene after hitting a good Samaritan helping two people stranded in a broken- down car in Ocean Beach, was sentenced to a year in local custody.
The Trump administration said Thursday that it has reunified 364 children ages 5 and older with their families after they were separated at the border, still leaving hundreds to go before a court-imposed deadline a week away.