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Health officials in the state of Arizona issued a public warning after the fleas in that state were positive for the plague, an infectious disease that killed millions of Europeans during the Middle Ages.

Officials from Navajo County and Coconino in the northern state confirmed that the tested fleas were positive for the disease, reports The Independent.

“The Navajo County Health Department informs the public that it is conducting countermeasures to reduce the risk of exposure to this serious illness, which may be present in fleas, rabbits, and predators who feed on them,” the warning states.

The first case was reported in early August, and authorities warned people to be kept, avoiding areas they knew had infected fleas and keeping pets in their homes.

It is also stated the possibility of using insecticides to kill infected fleas.

Plague in Rome. Italy, 17th century

Between 1900 and 2012, 1,006 were recorded in the United States. Confirmed or probable cases of people infected with plague.

In the last decades, an average of 7 cases of people infected with plague are reported each year. Around the world annually, the World Health Organization charges between one and two thousand cases, although the actual number is much higher.

Symptoms of plague include fever, headache, trembling, swollen and painful lymph nodes. In some cases, the skin tissues of the victims are blackened.

Death in two-thirds of the diseased occurs 2-6 days after the onset of symptoms.

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