A 21-year-old member asked:
Can all fleas potentially carry the plague bacteria?
2 doctor answers • 8 doctors weighed in
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Probably yes: Rats, prairie dogs, chipmunks, squirrels, deer mice, etc..., and the fleas of all these animals can carry the plague. Other animals, such as rabbits, also can have the plague. After pet cats and dogs catch the plague, their fleas can become infected and transmit the bacteria also.
6.3k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Psychiatry 43 years experience
No: Only fleas which have been exposed to rats or other animals infected with the plague bacteria (Yersinia pestis) can transmit it to humans. Y. pestis colonizes the flea's gut, replicates, and blocks the flea's gut. The fleas then feed voraciously, regurgitating the bacteria into the bite. Only a few organisms are required to pass on the infection. Most cases have been in in CA, AZ, NM, & CO.
4.9k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Last updated Nov 24, 2014
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.