Plague-infected squirrel forces shut down of Los Angeles campsites
A squirrel found to be infected with the plague has caused parts of a national forest in California to be evacuated and shut down.
Campsites in sections of the Angeles National Forest have been closed while more squirrels are tested for the infection.
Los Angeles health authorities have decided to keep the park open only for those hiking through. In the meantime the campsites will remain closed.
Visitors who do decide to take the risk are being advised to use insect repellent and make sure their pets are wearing flea collars.
Although its been centuries since the plague - known as the Black Death - killed in large numbers, the very mention of it can still strike fear into people.
The bacterial infection killed as many as 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages and although today it can be treated successfully with antibiotics, it remains a serious condition. If left untreated, victims can die within four days.
The infected squirrel in the Angeles National Forest was discovered during a routine check.
It is believed that no human in the area has been infected.
Chief of Los Angeles County Department Public Health, Dr Jonathan Fielding, said in a statement: "It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal."
Stormont's power-sharing arrangements collapsed earlier this week after the five major parties failed to reach agreement, with an ongoing situation in which there is no executive in Northern Ireland. This means that there could be fresh doubt cast on whether the Pope will visit Northern Ireland when he is set to visit the Republic next August.
Another Catholic priest has been murdered in Mexico, the country's bishops have said.
- Brexit's all very well – but what sort of Britain should Christians want to build?
- 'People all over the world are praying for you': Billy Graham chaplains help those affected by London terror
- 'Love divine, all loves excelling': 7 inspiring hymns by Charles Wesley
- How do evil spirits work? Can we inherit them from our ancestors?
- Was Christopher Columbus really a Jew fleeing persecution by the Spanish Inquisition?
- Christians are to the fore in efforts to find homes in the UK for thousands of Syrian refugees
- Render unto Caesar: The new pound coin has an uncomfortable message for the Church
- A Christian ministry brings healing to Jewish children and seniors in Ukraine
- A family in the United States is battling for the right to name their daughter 'Allah'
- 'The devil's come down': How rape and murder are stalking the displaced of South Sudan
- Terror will never drive us apart, pledge Archbishops, Imams and Chief Rabbi
- Christian convert in prison in Iran is seriously ill and in urgent need of medical care
- Coptic Pope says Egyptian Christians' problems are 'minor', warns against 'harmful' exaggeration
- Congo bishops abandon peace deal citing 'lack of sincere political will'
- Nigerian Catholic Church calls on Government to stop 'structural injustice' against Christians