Bubonic plague is an animal disease that spreads among small rodents, “mice and rats”, and fleas. This disease kills two thirds of those infected if they are not treated properly.
The plague disease is very old and has claimed the lives of millions of people in Asia, Africa and Europe, and it has been called “the black death”, due to the appearance of spots of blood that become black under the skin of the affected person.
The infection is transmitted to humans through fleas, so observing general hygiene and controlling the reproduction and spread of mice helps prevent the risk of this disease.
This disease is spread from one country to another through mice that are transported by means of transportation.
And this disease has destroyed many civilizations throughout history, while the credit for the plague is now less due to the improvement of living conditions, the use of antibiotics and the spread of primary medical knowledge among people.
There are three types of this disease:
1 – Bubonic plague – causes tonsillitis, lymph nodes and spleen, and symptoms appear as fever, headache, tremor, and pain in the lymph nodes.
2 – Bloody plague – in which germs multiply in the blood and cause fever, tremor and bleeding under the skin or elsewhere in the affected person’s body.
3 – Pneumonic plague – germs enter the lungs and cause pneumonia, and infection can be transmitted to others from the person with this type, i.e. this type can be a means of biological terrorism.
What is the difference between the types of plague in terms of disease course and treatment?
Plague infection has two main forms, dependent on the course of the infection: the humeral and pulmonary form and all forms are treatable and curable if detected early enough.
Bubonic plague: It is the most common form of plague globally, and is caused by an infected flea bite.
The bacillus plague, that is, pneumoniae, penetrates the body at the site of the bite and crosses to reach the nearest lymph node and multiplies in it.
Then the lymph node becomes inflamed, tense, and painful, and it is called “dubl”.
In advanced stages of infection, the inflamed lymph nodes can turn into open sore filled with pus.
The transmission of bubonic plague between humans is rare, and bubonic plague can develop and spread to the lungs, in what is known as pulmonary plague, which is one of the most severe types of plague.
Pneumonic plague or pneumonic plague – is the deadliest form of plague. The incubation period may not exceed 24 hours, and any person who has pneumonic plague may transmit the disease by spray to other humans.
Untreated pneumonic plague is fatal, unless diagnosed and treated early. However, recovery rates are high if the disease is detected and treated in a timely manner (within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms).
What are the symptoms of plague?
Symptoms usually include sudden onset fever, tremors, head and body pain, weakness, vomiting, and nausea. Painful and inflamed lymph nodes may also appear during bubonic plague.
Symptoms of the pulmonary form appear quickly after infection (sometimes within less than 24 hours), and include severe respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and cough, which is often accompanied by blood-stained phlegm.
How is pulmonary plague different from bubonic plague?
Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague, but it cannot be transmitted easily between people. Some people with bubonic plague appear as pneumonic plague, which means the infection spreads to their lungs. Pneumonic plague may spread between people through coughing. The fatality rate for bubonic plague ranges between 30% and 60%, while the pulmonary form is fatal in the absence of treatment. But the two types of recovery rates are good if people are treated in time.
How can I protect myself from plague infection?
To prevent the spread of pneumonic plague, avoid close contact (less than 2 meters) with a person with a cough, and reduce the time you spend in crowded areas. To prevent bubonic plague, refrain from contact with dead animals and wear insect repellent while you are in areas where the plague is endemic.
What should I do if I suspect of a plague?
In the event of a sudden injury with symptoms of fever, chills, lymph nodes pain and infections, or shortness of breath accompanied by a cough and / or blood-stained sputum, travelers should contact medical services immediately to seek evaluation of the condition. (Passengers who have left the plague-affected areas should inform the health worker who followed them of their previous travel to the plague-affected areas). People should avoid taking medications on their own, including the use of antibiotics, unless they are diagnosed by a health worker.
How is plague diagnosed?
Health workers perform the evaluation based on symptoms. Confirmation of infection is based on laboratory examination of a sample of blood, sputum (liquid spilled into the lungs), or pus taken from a double.
How can plague be treated?
Plague can be treated with antibiotics, and recovery is common if treatment begins early. In areas where the plague outbreak breaks out, people with symptoms should go to a health center to assess the condition and treatment. Patients with pneumonic plague must be isolated and treated by trained medical staff wearing personal protective equipment.
If I am in an area where an active outbreak of a plague has broken out, should I wear a muzzle to protect myself?
It depends on your exposure to patients. People who live in societies where the plague is present can wear masks if they wish, but must dispose of them properly so that they do not themselves become a source of infection. Gags may help reduce the spread of pneumonic plague if used properly by people with the disease (to reduce the spread of droplets), and by health care workers (to protect themselves).
Do you spread the plague bodies?
The body of a person who died of a plague may cause infection with close contact with it, such as those preparing the body for burial. The source of the infection is the bacteria that are still present in the body fluids.
Source: RT + WHO