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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Bubonic Plague

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

How Is It Spread
Question: How did they find out how bubonic plague is spread?

Answer: The vector for bubonic plague wasn't known until modern theories of disease became available. The medical name for the organism if Yersinia pestis. It is transmitted both by aerosol means(primary plague pneumonia) and by infected rat bites. The infected animals will die and the infected fleas on the animals will then seek new animals leading to progression of the disease among wild rodents. Dogs or cats in contact with infected rodents can transmit the disease to humans. Fleas are responsible for about 80% of the reported cases although lice can also transmit the disease. During the Bubonic Plague, most of the rapid transmission was by the aerosol pneumonia route-following initial infection by infected rats.

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