Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Plague Overview

Another name for Plague is Bubonic Plague.

What is bubonic plague?
A person with the bubonic plague has a serious infection caused by the bacteria, Yersinia pestis. The bacteria is transmitted to humans by rat flees, ticks and lice, but can also be spread from infected animals. The most common symptom is tender, swollen lymph glands. The bacteria can infect the skin, throat, lungs or brain. Bubonic plague is very rare: less than 10 cases of plague occur in the US each year.

What are the symptoms of bubonic plague?
Initial symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, chills, headache, body aches, and weakness or fatigue. Later symptoms of bubonic plague include abdominal pain and swollen glands (generalized).

How does the doctor treat bubonic plague?
Treatment for bubonic plague includes intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Continue to Plague Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Plague References
  1. Cobbs CG, Chansolme DH. Plague. Dermatol Clin. 2004 Jul;22(3):303-12, vi. [15207311]
  2. Duncan CJ, Scott S. What caused the Black Death? Postgrad Med J. 2005 May;81(955):315-20. [15879045]
  3. Kool JL. Risk of person-to-person transmission of pneumonic plague. Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Apr 15;40(8):1166-72. [15791518]
  4. Lazarus AA, Decker CF. Plague. Respir Care Clin N Am. 2004 Mar;10(1):83-98. [15062229]
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