A child contracted the plague–yes, the plague–after a trip to Yosemite

The child is recovering.
The child is recovering.
Image: Reuters/Robert Galbraith
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After Colorado’s Pueblo City-County health officials said an adult died as a result of the bacterial disease known as “the plague” on Wednesday (Aug. 5), California authorities are investigating a case of a child who contracted it during a camping trip to Yosemite National Park.

Plague, now quite rare in the United States, killed millions in a medieval pandemic known as “The Black Death.”

The child and its family camped at the Crane Flat Campground and visited other areas in the Stanislaus National Forest. No one else on the trip fell ill, and the child is recovering after being hospitalized. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of seven people contract the disease every year in the US, the overwhelming majority in the western part of the country.

Plague is most often transmitted through flea bites, and in its bubonic iteration (the most common one), exhibits itself with symptoms such as fever and painful lymph nodes.