Bubonic Plague Cases Suspected in China: All you need to know about Black Death

Bubonic Plague aka Black Death: Read on to know the signs, treatment and preventive measures and other important details.
Health & Fitness,Bubonic Plague,Black DeathBubonic Plague Cases Suspected in China: All you need to know about Black Death

Authorities in a city of China’s Inner Mongolia recently issued a warning when a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. This plague is also known as Black Death and it is very infectious and often fatal. It is spread mostly by rodents. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the plague is an infectious disease that affects rodents, humans, and other animals as well. It was known as the "Black Death" during the 14th century. During that time more than 50 million deaths were reported in Europe. The good news is that it can be treated with antibiotics.

For the unversed, it is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria, a zoonotic bacteria usually found in small mammals and their fleas. How it spreads? CDC states, "People most commonly acquire plague when they are bitten by a flea that is infected with the plague bacteria. People can also become infected from direct contact with infected tissues or fluids while handling an animal that is sick with or that has died from the plague. Finally, people can become infected from inhaling respiratory droplets after close contact with cats and humans with pneumonic plague."

As per WHO, from 2010 to 2015 there were 3248 cases worldwide, including 584 deaths. There are three forms of plague: Bubonic, Septicemic and Pneumonic. Bubonic plague is the most common form. It is characterized by painful swollen lymph nodes or 'buboes'. It is caused by infected flea and can advance and spread to the lungs and lead to a more severe type of plague called pneumonic plague. Bubonic plague cannot be easily transmitted between people, however, Pneumonic one can be transmitted between people through coughing

Signs of bubonic plague are:

Sudden onset of fever

headache

chills

weakness and one or more swollen

tender and painful lymph nodes (called buboes). 

vomiting

nausea

Symptoms develop after an incubation period of one to seven days.

Treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for survival and reduction of further health complications.

Antibiotics and supportive therapy are effective if patients are diagnosed in time.

Preventive measures

Alerting people when the zoonotic plague is present in their environment.

Taking precautions against flea bites.

Not to handle animal carcasses. 

To prevent the spread of pneumonic plague, avoid close contact with someone who is coughing/

Avoid crowded places and wear insect repellent in plague endemic areas.

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