Fleas – those tiny little creatures most famous for being brought into your house by pets.
Well, in a concerning development, the pesky, irritating bugs are now testing positive for plague.
Yep, in two counties in Arizona, fleas have tested positive for the disease – the same catastrophic Bubonic plague that killed millions in the 17th century, according to officials.
On Friday, Navajo County Public Health official confirmed fleas in the region had tested positive for the disease following similar reports from Coconino County Public Health Services district in Arizona, reports the Daily Mail.
Both areas are located in the northern part of the state.
The public health warning states:
Navajo County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals.
The warning continued:
The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal.
Officials have urged those living, working, camping or visiting the area to take precaution – this includes avoiding sick or dead animals, not letting pets roam and avoiding rodent burrows.
Despite the shocking news, it’s believed that findings such as these are actually fairly common in the area.
Symptoms of the Bubonic plague include sudden fever, headache, chills, weakness and one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes, according to the CDC – The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
If untreated, the bacteria can spread to other various parts of the body.
Let’s hope we don’t have a Black Death mark two…