All types of plague can be transmitted by animals most commonly rodent and their fleas Mice camels chipmunks prairie dogs rabbits and squirrels are other common carriers of the plague National Since animals can be infected both by fleas or by eating other infected animals outbreaks among animals are common These outbreaks called epizootics often lead to increased plague rates in humans Szalay All types of plague can also be transmitted by contact with infectious bodily fluids though human to human transmission of bubonic plague is rare WHO Pneumonic plague however is the only form of plague commonly spread person to person Szalay Pneumonic plague affects the lungs and when infected humans or animals cough the bacteria becomes airborne infecting anyone who breathes it in Septicemic plague occurs when the bacteria enters directly in the bloodstream from either fleas or contact with plague infected body matter National Both pneumonic and septicemic plague can also result from untreated advanced bubonic plague Once a victim becomes infected there is usually a 2 8 day incubation period before symptoms begin to appear though symptoms can appear in as little as one day for pneumonic plague Vyas While each form of plague affects victims in its own way all three types begin with the same basic flu like symptoms such as fever chills body aches vomiting nausea and weakness Szalay
The bubonic plague s most notable symptom would be the painfully swollen pus filled lymph nodes called buboes which can turn into festering open sores at advanced stages of infection National WHO Since the pneumonic plague primarily affects the lungs the majority of its symptoms affect the respiratory system These symptoms can include a severe cough difficulty breathing chest pain watery or bloody mucus serious pneumonia shock or respiratory failure Vyas Szalay The septicemic plague causes the most serious symptoms of the three types It can cause severe bleeding due to blood clotting problems both internally and externally Internal bleeding then can cause skin and tissues to turn black and die this necrosis is most common on the nose fingers and toes Szalay It is important to note that septicemic plague can cause death before severe symptoms even appear National There are multiple ways to test for plague once symptoms appear or after exposure these tests include blood cultures sputum cultures or cultures of the lymph node Once tests are taken treatment should begin immediately Antibiotics are effective in fighting the plague and are often used in conjunction with intravenous fluids and respiratory support for patients Once there is confirmation that a patient has the plague they are kept from others including doctors nurses and caregivers
Antibiotics can also be used as a preventative measure for anyone in close contact with the patient In patients with the bubonic plague 50 die without treatment but if proper treatment is started early chances of survival are high In patients with septicemic or pneumonic plague treatment must begin immediately Without treatment patients die quickly though treatment can increase the chance of survival to 50 Vyas All victims have the best chance of survival if treatment begins within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms WHO The plague can be deadly but today is definitely a manageable illness It s many types can all be kept at bay with proper sanitation and pest control The symptoms can be recognized by a professional and the outlook is good when treatment is administered in time Once having the potential for wiping out nations it is now treatable with common antibiotics Yet as it still exists today it is still important to stay informed and be aware of the capabilities of the plague Works Cited History com Staff Black Death History com A E television Networks 2010 www history com topics black death National Geographic Plague Information and Facts Plague Information and Facts 18 Jan 2017 www nationalgeographic com science health and human body human diseases the plague Szalay Jessie Plague A Scourge From Ancient to Modern Times Live Science Purch 1 July 2016 www livescience com 55259 the plague html Vyas Jatin M Plague MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia 18 May 2017 www medlineplus gov ency article 000596 htm WHO Plague World Health Organization World Health Organization Oct 2017 www who int mediacentre factsheets fs267 en
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