Animals that can carry plague bacteria found in the Western U.S.By Jen Christensen, CNNUpdated 7:50 AM ET, Wed December 30, 2015 Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Photos: The deer mouse is a potential source of diseases including the plague, salmonellosis and hantavirus.Hide Caption 1 of 9 Photos: Often, humans become infected after being bitten by fleas that have bitten infected animals like deer mice and voles.Hide Caption 2 of 9 Photos: Another easy way humans become infected is after their pet, mainly a house cat, hunts an infected rodent and then bites the owner or is host to infected fleas.Hide Caption 3 of 9 Photos: The first known outbreak of plague in the United States came after infected rodents from China that were on ships mingled with urban rats in port cities. Los Angeles had an outbreak of plague in 1924.Hide Caption 4 of 9 Photos: The California ground squirrel is highly susceptible to becoming infected with the plague and transmitting it widely to other squirrels. Hide Caption 5 of 9 Photos: Rock squirrels are also highly susceptible to plague bacteria and can spread it widely among its species.Hide Caption 6 of 9 Photos: Prairie dogs are some of the animals most affected by large die-offs after becoming infected with the plague.Hide Caption 7 of 9 Photos: Scientists are testing vaccines to protect the black-footed ferret, an endangered species, from getting the plague. The species has experienced devastating losses from the plague over the years.Hide Caption 8 of 9 Photos: California voles rarely come into contact with humans, since they are easily frightened, yet they can carry the plague and tularemia.Hide Caption 9 of 9From the cute deer mouse to your own cat, the ways we can get the plague.More from HealthHis son's battle with cancer inspired his epic runKoko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has diedPediatrician: Separated children 'trying to find ... anyone to hold on to'Laser pointer burns hole in boy's retinaHow prepared is the US for an anthrax attack?