In 1914, three men in New Orleans examine rats to determine if they are carrying bubonic plague.
This article from Discovery news this week has a slightly alarmist headline but makes some good points.
Plague, in humans, doesn't pop up a lot. Generally there are between one and seventeen cases per year in the United States, and only about a thousand in total since 1900.
...Remembering, and mentioning, exposure to dead or dying animals is key. As for efforts to eliminate it completely - although they've been considered, it would take too much extensive trapping and it would take too much extensive trapping and testing of animals to be easily accomplished while the plague is still so rare. It looks like we'll continue getting the plague for the foreseeable future.