What is a Bubonic Plague?

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What is a Bubonic Plague? Blog Image


Officials in the US state of Oregon recently said they are dealing with a rare human case of bubonic plague that was likely transmitted by a pet cat.

About Bubonic Plague

  • Plague is an infectious disease caused by a specific type of bacterium called Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacterium usually found in small mammals and their fleas.
  • Y. pestis can affect humans and animals and is spread mainly by fleas.
  • Bubonic plague is one type of plague. It gets its name from the swollen lymph nodes (buboes) caused by the disease.
    • Called the Black Death, it killed millions of Europeans during the Middle Ages.
  • The other types of plague are:
    • Septicemic plague, which happens when the infection goes all through the body.
    • Pneumonic plague, which happens when the lungs are infected.
  • Plague can be a very severe disease in people, with a case-fatality ratio of 30% to 60% for the bubonic type, and is always fatal for the pneumonic kind when left untreated.
  • Symptoms: Bubonic plague symptoms include
    • Sudden high fever and chills.
    • Pains in the areas of the abdomen, arms, and legs.
    • Headaches.
    • Large and swollen lumps in the lymph nodes (buboes) that develop and leak pus.
  • Transmission:
    • Y. pestis is spread mostly by fleas on rodents and other animals. 
    • It is transmitted between animals and humans by the bite of infected fleas, direct contact with infected tissues, and inhalation of infected respiratory droplets.
  • The incubation period of bubonic plague is usually 2 to 8 days. 
  • Treatment:
    • It can be treated and cured with antibiotics.
    • Antibiotics that treat bubonic plague include Ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, Gentamicin and Doxycycline.
    • It can be fatal if it’s not treated.

Q1) What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are medicines that fight bacterial infections in people and animals. They work by killing the bacteria or by making it hard for the bacteria to grow and multiply.

Source: Rare Case Of Bubonic Plague In US, It Killed 50 Million In 14th Century