Infectious diseases

Plague

Plague is a contagious epidemic disease, which is characterized by high mortality. Epidemics of plague had already been before Christ. “Black Death” takes the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Plague is caused by rod-shaped bacterium Yersinia pestis. They were discovered in 1894 by Alexander Yersinia. Infection occurs through airborne droplets, through the skin due to the bite of infected fleas or contact with infected animals, rodents. Plague is transmitted immediately and covers the whole area. At the beginning of XX century epidemic killed more than 10 million lives in India. During the Vietnam War (1960-1970) about 10 thousand people annually had been sick with plague. Cases of plague are still registered in the East and Central Africa, Central Asia, Vietnam, South America, Java and the west coast of the USA. In 1988, in the world, there were about 1,400 cases of plague, only 134 people died. Today, thanks to the various funds and improving hygiene treatments plague is not as dangerous disease.

Symptoms

  • Fever. Chill.
  • Pain in the limbs.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Black spots on the skin.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pain when coughing.

Causes

Germs are found in the body of rats, mice and other rodents. Infection of human plague occurs through the bite of fleas. In turn, the fleas are infected by bacteria feeding on the blood of infected animals. Germs multiply very quickly and cause bubonic plague. When infecting airborne, pneumonic plague is possible, which most often ends with death of the patient. Under the action of toxins, a large amount of subcutaneous bruising is formed. For this reason, before, the plague has been called the “Black Death”.

Treatment

Patients are isolated and treated with antibiotics. Treatment must be taken in large doses, as germs spread rapidly. Lack of treatment can lead to the death of many people. Therefore, not only patients should be isolated, but the people who entered into contact with them.

The sick person should be taken to the hospital as soon as possible.

A doctor will do blood test, a study of saliva and secretions bubo. The resulting sample is examined under a microscope. In the presence of these bacteria, the chemical analysis are made, which can identify the causative agent.

Course of the disease

Bubonic form of plague are seen in 2-8 days, usually after the bite of an infected flea. Suddenly, the body temperature rises; there are a fever, pain in the limbs, and headache. 1 After 1-2 days the lymph nodes inflamed buboes are formed, which become black, suppurate and ulcerate. Usually, axillary, inguinal and cervical lymph nodes increase in size. Skin over them is tense, painful. Often there is an infection in the blood, as a result, 25-50% of patients die. Today, however, antibiotics can save the majority of patients.

Pneumonic plague

It’s lightning fast spreading plague. This form is shown after transferring the bubonic plague (secondary pneumonic plague). Within a few days there is severe shortness of breath, pain when coughing, skin becomes bluish tint. Then the lungs become swollen, blood flow is disturbed. Usually, the patient dies within 2-5 days after onset of illness. Secondary pneumonic plague doesn’t occur so flash.

Going to a country where there are still recorded cases of plague, you should dress in such a way that the clothes as much as possible covered body. Do not forget to take a special ointment from fleas. You should eat a balanced, vitamin-rich foods, regularly visit bath, go in for sports.