ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Plague - Is septicemic plague contagious?

Updated on January 12, 2012
Septicemic Plague
Septicemic Plague

Plague - origins, types, symptoms, and treatments.

Plague is contracted through the bite of an infected flea. The flea became infected by biting a rodent that carries the bacteria.

Rodents, infected with the plague (yersinia pestitis), are found throughout the world.

In the thirteen hundreds, plague, the so-called 'Black Death,' ravaged Europe, causing the death of over one third of the population. Few survived longer than a few weeks.

Massive outbreaks of Plagues are unlikely to ever occur again due to medical advances and improved methods of sanitation.

The plague outbreaks in the thirteen hundreds were a combination of the three types of plague, Pneumonic, Septicemic,and Bubonic.

PNEUMONC PLAGUE is the rarest form of plague, but also the most dangerous, as it develops rapidly and is contagious. Pneumonic plague occurs when the bacteria has entered the lungs, and can be spread by coughed droplets. Symptoms of pneumonic plague include a cough that may include blood, difficulty breathing, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

SEPTICEMIC PLAGUE occurs when the bacteria multiplies in the blood. This plague causes fever and chills, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. There may also be bleeding under the skin and from the mouth and nose. Fingers and toes may turn black as gangrene sets in and body tissue dies.

BUBONIC PLAGUE'S most evident symptoms are swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. There may also be weakness chills, fever, headache, and aching muscles.

Many of the symptoms of plague may initially seem similar to those of flu, so it is important to seek medical attention immediately, if you exhibit any of the above symptoms, especially if are in an area where plague has been reported, if you feel you may have been bitten by a flea, or if you are in a location where rodents are a problem.

Plague is treated with powerful doses of antibiotics. It is true that people still die from plague, but deaths usually occur in areas where sanitation and pest control measures are more primative, and medical facilities are minimal or non-existent.

Remember that, while septicemic and bubonic plague are spread by the bites of infected fleas and are not contagious, pneumonic plague, though also initially spread by flea bites, is highly contagious and more likely to be fatal as symptoms appear within hours of a bite, and progress rapidly. Some precautions are obviously in order.

1. Always seek medical attention if you have any symptoms that concern you.

2. Avoid traveling to areas where plague has been reported.

3. Keep you home and property neat and clean. Deal promptly with any rodent infestations.

4. Give your animals regular, recommended treatments for fleas. Your veterinarian will recommend what is best for your animals and your location. A combination flea and tick medication may be recommended.

5. Be especially cautious when camping outdoors, in areas, or around animals with which you are not familiar.

There is a vaccine for plague, but its use is limited to those whose work puts them at greatest risk. Pneumonic plague could potentially become a weapon of bioterrorists. Therefore, there is ongoing research to to enable the develop of large quantities of a more effective vaccine.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Yes Derdriu - plague is still with us - another horrible disease we must deal conquer - thanks for commenting - B.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Billips, What a chilling, provocative, sobering summary of the three plagues which have "plagued" humankind! In particular, you do a great job of identifying the causes and manifestations of each of the three plaques. It's my understanding that bubonic plague can be found in parts of the southwestern United States of America and that polio is resurfacing because of laxity in vaccinating current generations.

      Thank you for sharing,


    • stars439 profile image


      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Interesting hub, and God Bless You.

    • RedElf profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      Scarey topic, well handled. It's a sobering fact that many of these ancient diseases are still with us.

    • IntimatEvolution profile image

      Julie Grimes 

      7 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

      Extremely interesting. Love your hard work and rich details.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      This sounds terrible. I wonder how you'd know you had it at first until you got some of the really bad symptoms.

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Wow, if I wasn't already drawn in by the title and the fact that Im a germophobe, the photo surely got me! Thanks for sharing your information :)

    • tammyfrost profile image

      Tammy Frost 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      Ouch. Great choice of photo. Caught my eye.

    • Majidsiko profile image


      7 years ago from Kenya

      To be noted a number of outbreak have been due to eradication programs for rats. Once you kill the normal host for fleas they will find an alternative. I'm in Tanzania and the plague here is endemic in some area, but if found early its very treatable.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)