Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Yersinia Pestis Treatment

Treatment for bubonic plague includes admission to the hospital for antibiotics. A person with bubonic plague must be placed in isolation in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Treatment must be initiated quickly because the illness worsens rapidly. Those who are exposed to a person with bubonic plague are treated with antibiotics to prevent the illness.

Treatment for bubonic plague includes:

Postexposure prophylaxis:

Yersinia Pestis Antibiotic Prophylaxis

People who are exposed to an individual with pneumonic plague require antibiotics for seven days, in order to prevent the disease.


  • Prophylactic antibiotics should be given to those who have been exposed to rodent fleas during a plague outbreak.
  • Prophylactic antibiotic therapy is recommended for persons who have handled an animal that is infected with the plague.
  • Prophylactic antibiotic therapy is recommended for persons who have had close exposure to a person or an animal with plague pneumonia.
  • Antibiotics for prophylaxis against plague:

Yersinia Pestis Drugs

Antibiotics for the plague include:

Streptomycin15 mg/kg IM daily10 days
Doxycycline (starting)200 mg IVOne dose
Repeat dose100 mg IV twice daily10 days
Gentamicin5 mg/kg IM/IV daily10 days
Ciprofloxacin500 mg oral BID10 days
Chloramphenicol 25 mg/kg QIDOne day
Repeat dose15 mg/kg QID10 days

Yersinia Pestis Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of bubonic plague.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • Am I contagious?
    • For how long?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Yersinia Pestis Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat bubonic plague:

Continue to Yersinia Pestis Prevention

Last Updated: May 19, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Yersinia Pestis 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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