Bubonic plague - symptoms and treatment

Bubonic plague - symptoms and treatment

Image taken from  inquisitr.com
Bubonic plague is a bacterial infectious disease circulated by small rodents and its fleas. If left untreated, about two thirds of infected humans will die within 4 days. A person infected with bubonic plague will experience swollen lymph nodes that usually occur in the armpits, neck region, upper femoral and groins. Lymph glands become swollen and painful after being infected through the bite of an infected flea and the bacteria replicate in the inflamed lymph node.

To diagnose the bubonic plague, an infected person is required to have a laboratory test. Once the bacteria has been identified, it is confirmed that the patient is infected with the bubonic plague after examining serum taken during the early and late stages of the infection. Rapid dipstick tests are used to quickly screen for the bacteria in patients.

Bubonic plague symptoms appear 2–5 days after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms include:

  • Acral gangrene: Gangrene of the extremities such as toes, fingers, lips and tip of the nose.
  • Chills
  • General ill feeling (malaise)
  • High fever (39 °Celsius; 102 °Fahrenheit)
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Seizures
  • Smooth, painful lymph gland swelling called a bubo, commonly found in the groin, but may occur in the armpits or neck, most often at the site of the initial infection (bite or scratch)
  • Pain may occur in the area before the swelling appears
  • Skin color changes to a pink hue in some extreme cases
Other symptoms include heavy breathing, continuous vomiting of blood hematemesis, aching limbs, coughing, and extreme pain. The pain is usually caused by the decay or decomposure of the skin while the person is still alive. Additional symptoms include extreme fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, lenticulae (black dots scattered throughout the body), delirium and coma. (Source: wikipedia.org)

Antibiotics such as streptomycin and gentamicin, tetracyclines (doxycycline), and fluroquinolone ciprofloxacin are effective in treating the plague. The mortality rate is about 1-15% for those with treated cases and 50-90% in untreated cases.

Infected persons need immediate treatment and antibiotics should be administered within 24 hours of the first symptoms to prevent death. Streptomycin has proven to be effective and successful against the bacteria within 12 hours of infection. Other treatments may include IV fluids, oxygen, and respiratory support.

Reported case:
Colorado child survives bubonic plague
Image taken from heraldsun.com.au
Sierra Jane Downing is alive and well despite contracting an illness that wiped out a big chunk of Europe's population more than 600 years ago. The seven-year-old girl from Colorado was infected with bubonic plague after trying to bury a dead squirrel during a camping trip - against her mother's instructions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARCY DOWNING MOTHER OF SICK CHILD: "Sierra Jane had found a squirrel and she was very concerned about it. She just really wanted to bury it. It was partially eaten; an animal had gotten a hold of it and so, she was over there, and we redirected her and told her to stay away from it." Although the bubonic plague once killed between 30 and 60 percent of Europe's population, these days in the US there are only a handful of cases per year.
The illness can now be easily treated -- as long as it's diagnosed in time. And this is exactly what happened with Sierra - who is expected to make a full recovery - but her doctors said it was a close call. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JENIFER SNOW, PEDIATRICIAN: "We were pretty close, I did tell the parents that I'm always hopeful that everything is going to turn out for the best, but I was trying to prepare them somewhat that she was critically ill and this is a life-threatening condition that she had and we were doing absolutely everything we could to save her life." (Source: Yahoo!News Philippines)
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About lamberto inquig, jr.

a simple and yet full of sense of humor guy who loves to travel and learn more knowledge in the ICT
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