July 7, 2019  |  

Investigation of and response to 2 plague cases, Yosemite National Park, California, USA, 2015.

Authors: Danforth, Mary and Novak, Mark and Petersen, Jeannine and Mead, Paul and Kingry, Luke and Weinburke, Matthew and Buttke, Danielle and Hacker, Gregory and Tucker, James and Niemela, Michael and Jackson, Bryan and Padgett, Kerry and Liebman, Kelly and Vugia, Duc and Kramer, Vicki

In August 2015, plague was diagnosed for 2 persons who had visited Yosemite National Park in California, USA. One case was septicemic and the other bubonic. Subsequent environmental investigation identified probable locations of exposure for each patient and evidence of epizootic plague in other areas of the park. Transmission of Yersinia pestis was detected by testing rodent serum, fleas, and rodent carcasses. The environmental investigation and whole-genome multilocus sequence typing of Y. pestis isolates from the patients and environmental samples indicated that the patients had been exposed in different locations and that at least 2 distinct strains of Y. pestis were circulating among vector-host populations in the area. Public education efforts and insecticide applications in select areas to control rodent fleas probably reduced the risk for plague transmission to park visitors and staff.

Journal: Emerging infectious diseases
DOI: 10.3201/eid2212.160560
Year: 2016

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