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For those who live out West, stories about people infected with plague are not uncommon. Usually, people are exposed when their pets become infected or carry plague-infected fleas. People can also become sick from a plague-infected flea bite after handling wildlife or through contaminated fluids or tissues from a plague-infected animal.
The Wildlife Services’ (WS) National Wildlife Disease Program (NWDP) monitors plague activity in wildlife. Between 2005 and 2018, WS and its partners collected approximately 45,000 blood samples from wildlife across the western United States. By analyzing these archived samples, WS-NWRC researchers and the NWDP documented plague exposure in 18 wildlife species.
Learn more about what they discovered