Bubonic plague-carrying fleas have been found on ground squirrels at two camping sites in the Angeles National Forest, authorities said. Camp Barley Flats and the Manzanita Loop portion of the Chilao campground have been closed to the public to allow workers to treat the grounds and burrows with flea sprays and powders, Los Angeles County health officials said.
The camping sites are about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. The bacteria has been detected in portions of the forest periodically during the past four years.
People camping or hiking in the mountains should use insect repellents and avoid contact with animals, said Frank Hall, director of the county's vector-borne disease program. Plague symptoms include enlargement of the lymph glands, followed by fever and chills. It can be treated successfully with antibiotics if detected early.