Home Health What is bubonic plague?

What is bubonic plague?

0

Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages, is now rare.

It is a bacterial disease mainly affecting wild rodents that is spread by fleas. Humans bitten by infected fleas can then develop bubonic plague.

Once bacteria infect the lungs, human-to-human transmission of pneumonic plague can occur through coughing.

Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages

Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death when it killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages (photo Wikipedia)

If diagnosed early, bubonic plague can be successfully treated with antibiotics, while pneumonic plague has a high mortality rate, the World Health Organization says.

The plague:

• Is one of the oldest identifiable diseases known to man

• Is spread from one rodent to another by fleas, and to humans either by the bite of infected fleas or when handling infected hosts

• Recent outbreaks have shown that plague may reappear in areas that have long been free of the disease

• Can be treated with antibiotics such as streptomycin and tetracycline

• Madagascar recently recorded 60 deaths from plague

Source: WHO