What is the Plague ?

Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis.

There are different types of plagues including

  1. The bubonic plague that is concentrated in the lymph nodes
  2. The septicemic plague that is concentrated in the blood vessels.

  1. The pneumonic plague, which is concentrated in the lungs

Transmission of the disease is through the oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis), also known as the tropical rat flea.

Both sexes of the fly can transmit the disease.

Various methods of transmisting the disease include:

• coughing or sneezing on another person

• Touching an infected person,

• Sexual contact

• Touching a soiled or contaminated surface

• Inhaling the microorganism that can remain in the air for long periods

• Consuming foods or water contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected individual.

• Transmission from an infected

When the flea bites a rodent that has been infected, the flea also becomes infected with the virus. The bacteria multiply inside the flea, sticking together to form a plug, the plug blocks the flea’s stomach and cause it to starve.

The flea then bites a human host and continues to feed, even though it cannot quell its hunger. Consequently, the flea vomits blood tainted with the bacteria back into the bite wound.

The bacterium then infects a new victim, and the flea eventually dies from starvation.

Vaccine and treatments

Waldemar Haffkine developed the first plague vaccine, a doctor who worked in Bombay, India, in 1897. The treatments for plague include antibiotic therapy.


Photo by vectorolie. Published on 10 November 2013
Stock photo – Image ID: 100216995