The bubonic plague known as the “Black Death” is a bacterial disease and is a highly infectious that is spread by fleas living on wild rodents such as marmots.
According to WHO, the plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria and it can be transmitted to other animals or humans.
People can get infected by this bacteria if they are bitten by infected fleas or direct exposure to the body fluids from a dead plague-infected animal.
From the other two forms of bacterial disease, Bubonic plague is the most common form and is identified with painful swollen lymph nodes.
According to WHO, if not treated on time, it can kill an adult in less than 24 hours. It is so deadly that, if treatment is not given on time then it can result in the death of 30% to 60% of the infected people.
Painful lymph nodes know as buboes commonly found in the armpits, upper femoral, groin and neck region. Symptoms include chills, high fever, muscle cramp, head and body aches, weakness, vomiting, heavy breathing etc.
After the bite by infected fleas, the Y pestis, travels through the lymphatic system to the nearest lymph node, it stays there and reproduces, resulting in a painful lymph node.
It can be transmitted from person-to-person when exposed directly to the infected person by inhalation of infected respiratory droplets.
If the treatment starts early, then plague can be treated with antibiotics within 24 hours of the first symptoms to prevent death. It requires urgent hospitalisation for evaluation and treatment.
According to WHO, from 2010 to 2015, there were 3248 documented cases worldwide, which resulted in 584 deaths and a fatality rate of 18%.
During the 14th century, there were more than 50 million deaths in Europe. At that time the pandemic was known as It was known as the “Black Death”.
A city in China has issued a warning on 5th July 2020, after a suspected case of Bubonic plague was reported.
On July 1, state-run Xinhua news agency said that two suspected cases of Bubonic plague reported in Khovd province in western Mongolia have been confirmed by lab test results.
The local health authority announced that the warning period will continue until the end of 2020.