Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Science – Health and Medicine
- A city in northern China sounded an alert after a suspected case of bubonic plague or ‘Black Death’ was reported.
What is Bubonic plague?
- It is a rare but serious bacterial infection transmitted by fleas from rodents.
- It is a zoonotic disease and it can be transmitted to other animals or humans.
- It mainly results from the bite of an infected flea.
- It may also result from exposure to the body fluids from a dead plague-infected animal.
- It is one of the three plagues caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. The other two being Septicaemic plague and Pneumonic plague.
- It is spread by Yersinia pestis bacteria and requires urgent hospitalisation. According to the WHO it can kill an adult in less than 24 hours, if not treated in time.
What are its symptoms?
- Swollen lymph nodes, which can be as large as chicken eggs, in the groin, armpit or neck. They may be tender and warm.
- Others include fever, chills, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.
Do you know?
- There are no reports of human to human transmission of bubonic plague. To prevent bubonic plague, people are generally advised to not touch dead animals and wear insect or fleas repellent in case of an outbreak.
- According to the WHO, a vaccine for the bubonic plague is available for individuals with high exposure to the plague.