Don’t get freaked out by “Bubonic Plague”

Bubonic plague is perfectly curable with antibiotics, the Chinese authorities has reported early about it, so people shouldn't get triggered through the headlines.

Today, there were highlights and headlines over the return of “Bubonic Plague” aka black death all over the mainstream media. Reports have claimed that in China’s city of Bayan Nur in Inner Mongolia a case of bubonic plague had been identified. But the authorities also claim that they had found two suspected cases of plague last November. And, later identified as pneumonic plague. Pneumonic plague only transfers from person to person via droplets, whereas, bubonic plague is not communicable. Yersinia pestis bacterium is the bacteria that causes black death—and it is found in the fleas which live inside the rodents. The city of Bayan Nur has issued a third-level alert on Sunday—and warns the public to report the suspected cases of fever, cough—if found in public without any cause.

What is Bubonic Plague?

According to the WHO “Plague is transmitted between animals and humans by the bite of infected fleas, direct contact with infected tissues, and inhalation of respiratory droplets.” It further adds, “There are two main clinical forms of plague infection: Bubonic and Pneumonic.”

In the modern-day, rats are the notorious vectors of fleas that carry Yersinia pestis.
Picture Credit: Madhav Prasad Chapagain

Bubonic plague is the most common form of the plague. When a person gets infected, the person’s lymph nodes “buboes” become extremely painful, get swollen—and can grow the size of a chicken egg. According to the WHO, bubonic plague has a fatality rate of 30-60 percent, if left untreated. But can be treated through modern antibiotics.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says “The bacteria that cause plague, Yersinia pestis, maintain their existence in a cycle involving rodents and their fleas…[m]any types of animals, such as rock squirrels, wood rats, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, mice, voles, and rabbits can be affected by plague…carnivores can become infected by eating other infected animals.”

Stop Freaking

As per the claims of WHO, the bubonic plague can be treated with the modern-day antibiotics. The Chinese government has also identified the contaminated area and quarantined the infected person, according to Chinese media. The headliners are creating a buzz into the websites and newspapers—which is already starting to create a fear among the people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a rational citizen, we should stop believing headlines and follow the guidelines of WHO. If the infections rise, people will be quarantined and provided antibiotics. And, the main thing is that bubonic plague is hardly transmitted from one person to another. So, in this case, we should stop panicking—and shouting about another potential pandemic [black death].


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