Plague is a disease that affects humans and other mammals. It is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected with plague. Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague. Without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death. Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in rural areas in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia.
How plague is transmitted...
Important signs and symptoms of plague...
What to expect from your physician...
Distribution of plague, number of cases and more...
- Fact Sheet
- MMWR, Human Plague — United States, 2015
- Human plague: Transmission from person to person pdf icon[PDF – 2 page]
- Podcast: Animal Exposure and Human Plague
- Podcast: Epidemiology of Human Plague in the United States, 1900–2012
- USGS National Wildlife Health Center: Plague, 2012external icon
- Bioterrorism and plague treatment and consensus statementexternal icon
- CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response