Plague

Bacterial Diseases
More Information

Animals Involved

Rodents (eg, squirrels, prairie dogs, rats) and lagomorphs (pikas in Asia) are main reservoir; many mammals can be incidental hosts; cats and wild felids especially susceptible

Known Distributions

Foci in North and South America, Asia, Middle East, and Africa

Probable Means of Spreading

Flea bites, aerosols, handling infected animals or tissues (contact with broken skin or mucous membranes), bites or scratches, eating uncooked infected tissues

Clinical Manifestations in People

Febrile flu­like syndrome with swollen, very painful draining lymph node(s) (buboes); pneumonia; sepsis can occur in either bubonic or pneumonic form; case fatality rate in untreated 40%–70% (bubonic) to 100% (pneumonic); < 5% mortality if bubonic form treated early

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