A possible case of pneumonic plague in the Tri-Cities has turned out to be a false alarm.
A local resident was tested, and the results came back negative, the Benton-Franklin Health District announced Saturday.
Plague occurs naturally in the western part of the U.S. It’s transmitted through flea bites and cycles naturally among wild rodents, the district said in a news release.
Plague can infect humans, most often through flea bites and also by touching or skinning infected animals or breathing in droplets from the cough of a sick person or animal.
It’s treated with antibiotics.
The last case of plague in Washington was in 1984.
To protect from plague and rodent-borne illnesses, people should eliminate rodent nesting places around their homes, garages and recreation areas; avoid touching dead animals or wear gloves; report sick or dead animals to health officials; prohibit pets from sleeping in their beds; and use insect repellant that contains DEET to prevent flea bites, the health district said.