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The plague

Types of Plague


There are three different types of plague: bubonic plague, septicemic plague, and pneumonic plague. The most common type is bubonic plague. Septicemic plague occurs when the Yersinia pestis bacteria (the organism responsible for the disease) multiply in the blood. Pneumonic plague is the most serious of the three types of plague. It occurs when plague bacteria infect the lungs, causing pneumonia.

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The three most common forms of plague are:

  • Bubonic plague is an infection of the lymph nodes.
  • Pneumonic plague is an infection of the lungs.
  • Septicemic plague is an infection of the blood.

Plague is a severe and potentially deadly bacterial infection.

Bubonic plague symptoms appear suddenly, usually after 2-5 days of exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Smooth, painful lymph gland swelling called a buboe
    • Commony found in the groin, but may occur in the armpits or neck
    • Pain may occur in the area before the swelling
  • Chills
  • General ill feeling (malaise)
  • Muscle pain
  • Severe headache
  • Seizures

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"Famine, plague, and war are the three most famous ingredients of this wretched world…All animals are perpetually at war with each other…Air, earth and water are arenas of destruction." (From Pocket Philosophical Dictionary).