Spring is plague awareness season in S. Idaho – protect yourself & your pets!

pLAGUEgRAPHICSpring recreation in Idaho is not too far off – and on some chilly days, it may feel farther off than we want! – but if you are getting ready to get out into the southern Idaho desert, remember spring is also the time to be aware of the potential for plague. Plague is dangerous to people and pets, but with proper awareness, precautions, and treatment when needed, plague should not discourage you from enjoying the Idaho outdoors. Continue reading

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Plague Suspected in Treasure Valley Ground Squirrel Deaths

Preliminary tests of ground squirrels (whistle pigs) found dead in desert areas of Ada and Elmore counties have come back positive for plague.  Idaho public health and Idaho Fish and Game officials are asking people to take precautions as outdoor summer activities shift into high gear over the long Memorial Day weekend.

Ground squirrelLast year, plague was confirmed in ground squirrels in the same general areas of southern Idaho (see map below). It can circulate in wild animal populations every year. Confirmatory laboratory tests are being conducted, with results expected next week.

Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents that is transmitted through the bites of infected fleas and can cause serious illness to people and pets if not treated quickly. Continue reading