Bubonic Plague

CDC World Distribution Map of Bubonic Plague, 1998

Symptoms and Recommendations

The Bubonic plague is an infection of the lymphatic system, usually resulting from the bite of an infected flea. The fleas are often found on rodents, and seek out other prey when their rodent hosts die. Once established, bacteria rapidly spread to the lymph nodes and multiply. Yersinia pestis can resist phagocytosis and even reproduce inside phagocytes and kill them. As the disease progresses, the lymph nodes can hemorrhage and become necrotic. Bubonic plague can progress to lethal septicemic plague in some cases. Wikipedia

The southwestern Four Corners region continually has problems with rodents and the various diseases carried by them. Bubonic plague is one of these serious diseases that has been responsible for deaths in the southwestern U.S.

Please consider the following recommendations:

  • Avoid flea bites
  • Pets should not be allowed to roam free
  • Pets should receive flea/tick protection
  • Avoid contact with wild animals, especially dead ones
  • Immediately seek medical attention (and mention the concern of plague) if you notice any plague-like symptoms
  • Avoid flea bites
  • Pets should not be allowed to roam free
  • Pets should receive flea/tick protection
  • Avoid contact with wild animals, especially dead ones
  • Immediately seek medical attention (and mention the concern of plague) if you notice any plague-like symptoms

Plague symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Weakness
  • In some cases, headaches
  • In some cases, nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pain, swelling or tenderness of lymph nodes, especially those of the groin and/or armpits

Also, if there are any unexplained deaths of rodents, rabbits and/or felines, the State Health Department would be interested in testing the animals. They can be contacted at 602-364-4562. Or, you could contact the Coconino County Health Department.

For a comprehensive page on Plague, including bubonic, visit Wikipedia’s page.

CDC Plague Home Page