Three Cases of Plague Diagnosed in China

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News: Three cases of bubonic plague have been reported in China.

Facts:

Plague:

  • It is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria usually found in small mammals and their fleas.
  • The bacterium is believed to have originated in Yunnan in southwest China.
  • According to the WHO, plague is found on all continents, except Oceania. At present, the three most endemic countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Peru.

Types:

  • Bubonic plague: It is the plague which affects the lymphatic system. It is characterized by painful swollen lymph nodes or ‘buboes’. Bubonic Plague is also known as Black Death, the epidemic which occurred in Europe in the 14th Century.
  • Pneumonic plague: It is a plague infection of the lungs. When bubonic plague advances and spread to the lungs it leads to Pneumonic plague.
  • Septicemic plague: It is a rare variant of plague which infects the bloodstream.

Transmission of Plague:

  • Animal to Human Transmission: Humans can contract plague if they are bitten by infected fleas.
  • Person-to-person transmission occurs through the inhalation of infected respiratory droplets of a person who has pneumonic plague.

Treatment: Plague can be treated with antibiotics, and recovery is common if treatment starts early.