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What are the basics of the plague?

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The plague is caused by bacteria called Yersinia pestis. It’s usually spread by fleas. These bugs pick up the germs when they bite infected animals like rats, mice, or squirrels. Then they pass it to the next animal or person they bite. You can also catch the plague directly from infected animals or people.

Thanks to treatment and prevention, the plague is rare now.

The U.S. sees about seven cases a year, mostly in rural or remote areas in Southwestern states like Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and California.

From: What Is the Plague? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

World Health Organization: “Plague.”

UpToDate: “Epidemiology, microbiology and pathogenesis of plague (Yersinia pestis infection),” “Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of plague (Yersinia pestis infection).”

CDC: “Plague: History,” “Plague: Frequently Asked Questions,” “Plague: Resources for Clinicians, Diagnosis,” “Travelers’ Health: Plague in Madagascar,” “Plague: Prevention.”

Mayo Clinic: “Plague.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on February 28, 2018

SOURCES:

World Health Organization: “Plague.”

UpToDate: “Epidemiology, microbiology and pathogenesis of plague (Yersinia pestis infection),” “Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of plague (Yersinia pestis infection).”

CDC: “Plague: History,” “Plague: Frequently Asked Questions,” “Plague: Resources for Clinicians, Diagnosis,” “Travelers’ Health: Plague in Madagascar,” “Plague: Prevention.”

Mayo Clinic: “Plague.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on February 28, 2018

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