China reports suspected case of ‘Black Death’ plague. All you need to know

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News: China has issued a warning after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague also known as the “Black Death”.

Facts:

  • Plague: It is an infectious disease caused by Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria usually found in small mammals and their fleas.
  • Types: 
    • Bubonic plague: It infects a person’s lymphatic system (which is a part of their immune system) causing inflammation in the lymph nodes.If left untreated, the bubonic plague can convert into either pneumonic or septicemic plague.Symptoms include fever, chills, weakness and headaches.  
    • Pneumonic plague: It is the ‘most virulent form of plague’ and can be fatal within 24 to 72 hours.It occurs when the bacteria infects the lungs.It is the type of plague that can be transmitted from human to human.Symptoms are chest pain, fever and cough. 
    • Septicemic plague: It happens when the bacteria enters the bloodstream and multiplies there.
  • Treatment: Plague can be treated with antibiotics and recovery is common if treatment starts early.In areas where there is a plague outbreak, people with symptoms should go to a health centre for evaluation and treatment.