Chipmunks with plague prompt closure of some areas of South Lake Tahoe

California
A chipmunk crosses is seen in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

A chipmunk crosses is seen in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Officials are closing some areas on the south shore of Lake Tahoe after some chipmunks tested positive for plague.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports that the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Kiva Beach and their parking areas will be off limits through Friday.

During that time, the U.S. Forest Service will be conducting vector control treatments to those areas.

El Dorado County spokeswoman Carla Hass said the chipmunks that were tested had no contact with any people.

Forest Service officials expect the facilities to be open again by the weekend.

According to the El Dorado County Public Health, plague is naturally present in some areas of California.

People hiking and doing other outdoor activities should avoid contact with animals. They should do the same for their pets.

Plague is an infectious bacterial disease that tends to be spread by chipmunks, other wild rodents and their fleas. For humans, symptoms can show up within two weeks of exposure to an infected animal. They include fever, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes.

If caught early, it can be treated with antibiotics.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect name for the U.S. Forest Service. The post has been updated.

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