Things took an unexpected turn for campers vacationing in the Angeles National Forest outside Los Angeles, Calif. when officials performing routine surveillance efforts came across a squirrel infected with the plague.

Reuters reports that after the rodent tested positive for the disease, authorities made the decision to immediately shut down the site, evacuate all campers and instruct locals to steer clear of the Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow and Pima Loops campgrounds, which are located in the San Gabriel Mountains north of metropolitan Los Angeles.

But according to health officials, no one is believed to have been infected.

"It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal," the health department chief, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, said in a statement.

The disease is known from previous cases to reside in the mountain area; since 1996, similar surveillance efforts have found five other infected squirrels.

The plague, which is perhaps better known by its historic nomenclature "Black Death," is remembered as one of the most devastating, transformative pandemics in recorded history, with the estimated number of deaths ranging between 75 and 200 million people. Peaking in the mid-14th Century, the plague is believed to have wiped out an astounding 60 percent of the European population. Oriental rat fleas and black rats are thought to have been the initial disease vectors.

The disease made a return during the latter half of the 19th Century, killing about 10 million globally.

That said, the plague has now lost its pandemic edge thanks to modern antibiotics. An average of seven cases are reported by U.S health officials each year, and the disease is typically not fatal.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), modern plague epidemics are usually centered in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar - two areas that account for 95 percent of all reported cases. Symptoms depend on what clinical form the disease takes, and can include everything from fever and swollen lymph nodes to internal bleeding and tissue death. If left untreated, the plague has a staggeringly high mortality rate.