"A Los Angeles woman is being treated for bubonic plague, the 1st case of the age-old pestilence in the county since 1984, health officials
announced Tue 18 Apr 2006.
The infected patient, whose identity was withheld, came down with symptoms last week and continues to be treated in a hospital for the disease, which is characterized by swollen lymph nodes, officials said. She may have contracted the disease from fleas in the area around her Country Club Park neighborhood.
Although the disease is "rare, it is important to remember that this still can happen," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of public health for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
Traps have been set out for squirrels and other wild animals in the area to determine the extent of exposure, officials said. Neighbors are being warned to avoid contact with dead animals and fleas from rodents and pets.
Although human cases of the plague are uncommon, it is endemic to ground squirrels and some rodents in parts of the Angeles National Forest, Tehachapi, Lake Isabella and Frazier Park.
The last major urban epidemic in the USA occurred in Los Angeles in 1924, resulting in dozens of deaths. On average, about 5 to 15 people get the plague annually around the country, mostly in rural areas, according to the CDC."
Amazing! Reported right on the heels of the plague episode of House MD last night!