A plague or pestilence is a disease caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterial infection. A person may get this disease if it is bitten by a flea (insect) exposed to the Y. Pestis bacteria, after which the insects bite infected animals. The flea that transmits the bubonic plague disease by sucking the rodent blood.
Bubonic plague can evolve rapidly and result in death if it is not immediately treated. Bubonic plague is a zoonotic disease (derived from animals).
Based on the organ infected with the Plague infection, the disease can be divided into three types, namely Plague in the lymphatic system (bubonic plague), a Plague of the bloodstream (septicemic plague), as well as the Plague of the lungs (pneumonic plague).
Transmission of Yersinia Pestis to Humans
Although the Yersinia pestis is found in animals, the disease of Bubonic Plague can be transmitted to humans. One way of its transmission is through bites of rat flea or direct contact with the tissues or body fluids affected by Bubonic Plague.
Mice, dogs, squirrels, guinea pigs, cats, deer, rabbits, camels, and sheep are animals that act as intermediaries. Meanwhile, the most frequent outbreaks are fleas that are usually present in rats.
The bacteria cause the Bubonic Plague to grow and develop in the esophagus. When the flea bites the skin of the animal or human and suck the blood from the host’s body, then the bacteria come out of the esophagus and goes into the skin. Furthermore, bacteria will attack the lymph nodes until this part is subjected to inflammation.
From this, the disease of Bubonic Plague can spread to other organs. In fact, it can get to the brain membranes, although this is rare.
Causes of Bubonic Plague
The Yersinia pestis bacteria that are spread through the fleas are usually in the rodents, such as mice, rabbits, and squirrels. People can suffer from this disease when bitten by a bug in the animals and transmitted directly through the droplet of other people with Bubonic Plague diseases.
Some conditions can increase a person’s suffering from the Bubonic Plague, among others:
- People living in rural areas, the plague is most common in rural areas that are densely populated and have poor sanitation.
- People who work as veterinarians.
- People who have a hobby of climbing mountaineering, camping, and hunting in the outback that becomes the ecosystem of rodent infected with Bubonic Plague.
Who has a chance to be infected with Bubonic Plague?
In fact, the plague is easily contagious. Especially for those who often visit or live in the area affected by the plague. Here are some people who easily contracted the Bubonic Plague disease:
- Those who often touch live or dead animals that may have been infected, such as rats, mice, squirrels, or rabbits.
- Work to take care of animals every day (farmers, researchers, and so on).
- Those who often work outdoors, or those who love to do activities like hiking, camping, or hunting.
- Those who often make contact with someone who has been exposed to the Bubonic Plague.
Dangers of being scratched by a cat
Symptoms of Bubonic Plague
Symptoms of Bubonic Plague present are characterized by appearing during 2-6 days after the person is infected to the infection, with symptoms resembling flu.
These symptoms are
- Fever and chills.
- Feel unwell.
- Muscle pain.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes found in the groin, but may occur in the armpit or neck area, or infected areas.
- Pain may arise before the swelling.
This type of Plague can evolve rapidly and cause breath failure to shock only within 2 days of infection.
When should You check with a doctor?
If you have any of the signs or symptoms above or any other question, consult it with your doctor.
The body of each sufferer shows signs and symptoms that vary. To get the most appropriate treatment and according to your health condition, always consult any symptoms you have experienced to the nearest doctor or health care center.
Bubonic Plague Prevention
- Minimize rodent habitat around the homes, workplaces, and public places.
- Remove brushes, piles of rocks, junk, messy firewood, and possible rodent food supplies, such as pet and wild animal food.
- Wear gloves if treating or skinning possibly infected animals to prevent contact between the skin and plague bacteria.
- Use mosquito repellent if you are doing outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or working outdoors to avoid the bite of a bacterial-infected insect.
- Keep fleas away from pets by bathing and giving anti-lice drugs periodically.
- Free-roaming animals are more likely to come into contact with infected animals or fleas and can bring them home. If your pet is sick, see a veterinarian immediately.
- Don’t let a dog or cat roam freely out to sleep in your bed.
Although it can now be treated with antibiotics, but preventing is certainly better than treating, right? After all, maintaining cleanliness is also not a bad thing to do.