2019 PLAGUE SEASON
No activity to report as of April 2019
Ground squirrels in Idaho's desert sagebrush areas are known to be a source of plague. The highest risk for plague exposure to animals and humans occurs March through July.
Although no rodent die-offs have been reported so far in 2019, Idaho public health and wildlife officials remind people there is always potential for ground squirrels who reside in desert areas with sagebrush to carry plague, and urge anyone visiting these areas to take precautions to protect themselves and pets from plague.
Past Plague Activity
In recent years, pets have become ill or died from contact with ground squirrels or their fleas — and put humans in danger of illness and death.
In early June 2018, an Elmore County child was confirmed to have plague. The child was treated and recovered. It is most likely the child contracted plauge in Oregon, but an exact source was not found. In late June 2018, an Elmore County pet cat tested positive for plague. The cat was treated and recovered. In mid-July, a feral cat died, most likely from plague.
In 2016, four cats from Elmore County and one from Ada County became infected with plague. Four of the five infected cats died.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is plague?
Plague occurs naturally in the western United States.
How do people get plague?
How can I avoid plague?
PAST NEWS RELEASES
News releases may not be issued in every instance of suspected plague infection or plague-related pet death.
If you have health-related questions regarding plague, please call CDHD at 327-8625. Please note that this number and email account are only staffed during weekdays between 8 am and 5 pm.
EMAIL Communicable Disease at CDHD