The bacteria that cause plague, Yersinia pestis, maintain their existence in a cycle involving rodents and their fleas. The last urban outbreak of rat-associated plague in the United States occurred in Los Angeles in 1924-1925. Since that time, plague has occurred in rural and semi-rural areas of the western United States. Many types of animals, such as rock squirrels, wood rats, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, mice, voles, and rabbits can be affected by plague. Wild carnivores can also become infected if they eat other infected animals.
“The plague can take different clinical forms, but the most common are bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic,”
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