Parts of a popular California wilderness area have been closed after rodents tested positive for a medieval disease.
Holidaymakers to Lake Tahoe are used to having their plans disrupted by forest fires, droughts and Covid 19 restrictions - however, the news that local chipmunks were carrying bubonic plague was a new one.
El Dorado County said the measures were "based on positive plague tests" although none of the chipmunks were believed to have had contact with humans.
Among the facilities being closed would be the Taylor Creek Visitor Centre and a nearby pleasure beach. Closures would be in place until at least Friday.
According to the CDC the disease is still endemic in the wild and is passed on by fleas from host animals, normally rodents.
"Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages," says the US CDC but today it can be treated with modern antibiotics.
"Without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death. Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in rural areas in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia."
The disease continues to be rare in humans. Last year local newspaper reported a hiker contracting the disease. This was the first recorded case in five years, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
Yet the county public health office has cautioned tourists to be aware of the dangers to them and their pets when hiking, particularly at high elevations.
"It's important that individuals take precautions for themselves and their pets when outdoors, especially while walking, hiking or camping in areas where wild rodents are present," said Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams.
Local holidaymakers are taking the news in their stride.
"Drought, plague, fires, and earthquakes. Just another week in California," wrote one jaded hiker, sharing the health warning to Facebook.