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Plague is a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis and is spread by rodents, especially rats. Exposure to rats, rabbits and squirrels increases the risk.

Types of Plague

Bubonic plague: is an infection of the lymph nodes. Symptoms of Bubonic plague symptoms include chills and high fever along with headache and swollen lymph glands (bubo).

Pneumonic plague: is an infection of the lungs. Symptoms of Pneumonic plague include severe cough, blood in sputum and difficulty in breathing.

Septicemic plague: is an infection of the blood. Symptoms of Septicemic plague include diarrhea, fever, low blood pressure, abdominal pain, bleeding and organ failure.

Diagnostic tests that are prescribed for plague are blood and sputum culture. Fluid from a lymph node is often examined. Antibiotics (streptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin) are the first line of treatment. Pneumonic plague is infectious. If left untreated, plague can lead to meningitis or later death.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 18, 2019