A chipmunk in the Lake Tahoe area tested positive for bacteria that causes plague in humans. Officials say the disease is rare but can be transmitted through flea bites or infected rodents and cats.
Dr. Vicki Kramer of the California Department of Public Health says the finding isn't cause for alarm, but is a reminder to take precautions.
KRAMER: "In particular not to handle sick or dead rodents, that's very important. Not to disturb burrows or come into contact in any way with rodents."
El Dorado County officials say the Taylor Creek Recreation Area may have elevated plague risk.
Kramer says plague occurrence statewide has not been high for several years. The last human case of plague in California was in 2006.