Thursday, July 5, 2007 | The note about plague in squirrels needs some clarity:

Plague has been around in San Diego County since about 1899 and has found a reservoir in fleas, rats and squirrels for over a century. As for the assertion that no one ever had plague here, a scan of death records would show otherwise, though the number of cases has been small in any given year and most of those did not occur in areas of the city whose residents would draw much press coverage. Also, the form of the plague that seems to reside in sunny Southern California is slightly less virulent than the infamous Black Death of 1347 and 1665; it’s still a serious health problem.

When the Spanish came here, they noted San Diego was lousy with fleas, or las pulgas, and this retarded zeal for development for nearly a half century after 1769; 238 years later, its still a good idea to control the vermin on domestic animals and get checked once in awhile if you own them; one bad buboe under the armpit is all it takes to be something out of a DeFoe chronicle.

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