Home » A case of plague in the USA, the bacterium transmitted by flea bites – Medicine

A case of plague in the USA, the bacterium transmitted by flea bites – Medicine

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A case of plague in the USA, the bacterium transmitted by flea bites – Medicine

A case of bubonic plague in a human was recently identified in the United States, in the state of Oregon. The infected person is currently under treatment and was probably infected by his cat.

Plague is an infectious disease of bacterial origin caused by the bacillus Yersinia pestis. It is a zoonosis, meaning it is transmitted through a vector animal, mainly the flea but also other parasites (such as lice, bed bugs) and which can also be transmitted from human to human.

In the case of bubonic plague, the bacterium penetrates through the skin following the bite of an infected flea; the name derives from the fact that the bacillus accumulates in the lymph nodes, causing inflammation and swelling of the lymph nodes usually in the inguinal or axillary area closest to the sting area. Swollen lymph nodes are called “buboes”. These usually appear 2-6 days after exposure along with fever, headache, chills and weakness; the disease, which in this form is not transmitted from person to person, proceeds rapidly.

In fact, if not treated promptly, bubonic plague can degenerate if the bacillus spreads throughout the body, thus giving rise to septicemic plague, which can be fatal.

The plague is widespread in different areas of the world, even some rich countries. Among the recommendations for prevention there is also that of keeping pets under hygienic-sanitary control and protected from fleas.

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