'Plague warning' closes South Lake Tahoe beach

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. -- Fleas that have tested positive for "plague bacteria" have prompted several closures on the south side of Lake Tahoe ahead of Labor Day weekend.

Kiva Beach, its picnic area, Tallac Historic Area and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center are closed as the area is treated for active plague, the California Department of Health told ABC7 News.

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"The Forest Service is working closely with our partners at the California Department of Public Health and we anticipate that these parking areas will reopen before Labor Day weekend," the U.S. Forest Service said on Facebook.

Kiva Beach is set to reopen Friday, but if you feel a little scratchy after your visit, don't say we didn't warn you.



If you do choose to visit the active plague zone, the Forest Service recommends staying on trails and keeping pets on short leashes. Also, make sure your dog isn't sniffing around any rodent burrows -- those plague-infested fleas could make a jump from chipmunk to Fido in no time. For good measure, you should also social distance from any rodent burrows you come across.

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That being said, the plague is treatable with antibiotics when it's caught early, the Forest Service says. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle soreness and swollen lymph nodes. Just tell your doctor if you think you've come into contact with any plague-infested creatures.

This is the second plague scare in less than a month near Tahoe. A few weeks ago, a South Lake Tahoe resident tested positive for the bubonic plague -- the state's first case in five years.
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