What is a Bubonic Plague?

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What is a Bubonic Plague? Blog Image


China's northern region of Inner Mongolia recently reported two cases of bubonic plague.

About Bubonic Plague


  • Plague is an infectious disease caused by a specific type of bacterium called Yersinia pestis.
  • Y. pestis can affect humans and animals and is spread mainly by fleas.
  • Bubonic plague, also known as Black Death, is one type of plague. It gets its name from the swollen lymph nodes (buboes) caused by the disease.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • It’s an example of a disease that can spread between animals and people (a zoonotic disease).
  • 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 Lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes, also known as lymph glands, are small, bean-shaped structures located throughout the body as part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels, nodes, and organs that plays a crucial role in maintaining fluid balance, filtering out harmful substances, and supporting the immune system's functions.

Source: China's inner Mongolia records two cases of bubonic plague: What it is