Plague. No, we no longer think of it as the Black Death. But it does live where there are rodents, and there are rodents in the wilderness. Which is why this note from Yosemite National Park made sense:
Public health officials and Yosemite National Park staff successfully dusted rodent burrows in the Tuolumne Meadows Campground yesterday with the insecticide deltamethrin (DeltaDust). Deltamethrin was used to treat rodent burrows in the campground to reduce the risk to people and wildlife from fleas that may carry the plague bacteria. It is commonly used on pets and livestock to control fleas and ticks, as well as on clothing and lawns to kill mosquitoes and ticks.
We hope to re-open Tuolumne Meadows Campground on Friday as planned. We will do follow-up surveillance today and Wednesday.
Don Neubacher, on behalf of Yosemite National Park