Facts About Plague: CDC-OC
Article title: Facts About Plague: CDC-OC
Facts About Plague
July 11, 1997
- There are three forms of plague. Symptoms of bubonic
plague include enlarged, tender lymph nodes, fever, chills and
prostration; septicemic plague symptoms include fever,
chills, prostration, abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding into skin and
other organs; and pneumonic plague symptoms include
fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, and rapid shock and death if
not treated early.
- Plague is caused by Yersinia pestis bacillus.
- Annually, 140 cases of plague were reported (average 13 cases)
by western states in 19711995. In 1993, 10 countries reported 2065
cases to the World Health Organization.
- Plague is transmitted by fleas from infected animals to humans (in
the United States primarily rock squirrels, prairie dogs, and other
burrowing rodents); by direct contact with infected tissues or fluids;
or by respiratory droplets from cats and humans with pneumonic plague.
- Persons at-risk for plague are those exposed to rodent fleas, wild
rodents, or other susceptible animals in areas of the western United
States. Most cases occur in southwestern states: Arizona, California,
Colorado, and New Mexico. Other groups at-risk include hunters,
veterinarians and pet owners handling infected cats, campers, or hikers
entering areas were plague is know to exist.
National Center for Infectious Diseases
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Disease Control and Prevention