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Description:This image depicts a captured squirrel, which was being examined for the presence of fleas. Any fleas found, would then be tested for the presence of the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis. A fine-toothed comb was being run through the rodent’s fur in order to dislodge any flea, or flea eggs, i.e., nits, into the catch pan beneath the specimen.
When collecting specimens during a suspected, or confirmed epizootic, one must consider what types of rodents or fleas are involved, their distributions and numbers, any evidence of morbidity or mortality, the scope and extent of the epizootic, and its proximity to human determined through observations, examination of burrows and nests, and judicious and well-planned trapping. Trapped animals should be etherized and combed to remove fleas, as was being done here.
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Content Providers(s):CDC
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Links:CDC - National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases; Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases; Plague Home Page
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.