Tularemia Detected in Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs scanning the horizon S. Carter/NPS
Prairie Dogs scanning the horizon
S. Carter/NPS

Several dead prairie dogs and other rodents recently found in Devils Tower National Monument have tested positive for tularemia. This year, tularemia has been widely reported in Wyoming and some neighboring states.

Tularemia is a naturally occurring bacterial disease transmitted by infected insects and ticks to rabbits, hares, muskrats, beavers and other small rodents.Tularemia can also spread to humans and can cause serious clinical symptoms. People can help prevent infection by using insect repellent, washing hands, and giving wildlife their space. Never consume water that has not been treated or boiled.

In humans, tularemia can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever and chills, joint pain, muscle aches and headaches, dry cough and chest pain and an open sore and swelling at the site of a tick bite or swollen lymph nodes. If someone becomes ill with any of these symptoms within two weeks of being in an affected area, they should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about possible exposure to tularemia. Tularemia can be treated successfully with antibiotics. For more information about tularemia visit www.cdc.gov/Tularemia and www.health.wyo.gov/news.aspx?NewsID=841

Although tularemia is a native disease that occurs naturally, human impacts on the environment can affect wildlife habitats and promote the transmission and spread of diseases such as tularemia. By appreciating wildlife from a distance, we can help protect ourselves from tularemia.

Monument staff are monitoring this situation closely in consultation with the NPS Wildlife Health Branch, the NPS Office of Public Health and state partners. All Monument visitors are reminded of the importance to comply with regulations that require pets to be leashed and prohibit the touching and feeding of wildlife. Visitors encountering dead or sick wildlife should not touch or move the animal, and should report the location to park staff as soon as possible.

To learn more about Devils Tower National Monument,  visit us online at www.nps.gov/deto.

Source: NPS


Twenty-second Annual Native American Heritage Days Begins August 6, 2015 on the North Rim of Grand Canyon

The National Park Service invites the public to the 22nd annual Native American Heritage Days on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, August 6 and 7, 2015. http://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/north-rim-native-american-heritage-days.htm

Source:: Twenty-second Annual Native American Heritage Days Begins August 6, 2015 on the North Rim of Grand Canyon



Hiker Suffers Fatal Heart Attack on 49 Palms Oasis Trail

Twentynine Palms, CA/Joshua Tree National Park—A 73-year-old woman from Louisiana suffered a fatal heart attack while hiking with family on the 49 Palms Oasis trail in Joshua Tree National Park on Monday, July 27th.  Park staff, Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept. and members of the Twentynine Palms Fire Dept. responded and administered CPR, however, the subject was unresponsive.  Two other members of the hiking party were transported by Morongo Basin Ambulance and treated for heat related issues at Hi Desert Medical Center.

Park officials emphasize the importance of knowing personal abilities and limitations when hiking, especially during hot summer conditions.  Understanding the demands of specific routes as well as having proper clothing and sufficient water are crucial elements of a safe hike.

Source: NPS