Plague

  • Alternative Names

    Bubonic plague; Pneumonic plague; Septicemic plague


    Treatment

    People with the plague need immediate treatment. If treatment is not received within 24 hours of when the first symptoms occur, death may be unavoidable.

    Antibiotics such as streptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin are used to treat plague. Oxygen, intravenous fluids, and respiratory support usually are also needed.

    Patients with pneumonic plague are strictly isolated from other patients. People who have had contact with anyone infected by pneumonic plague are watched carefully and are given antibiotics as a preventive measure.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Without treatment, about 50 - 90% of those with bubonic plague die. Almost all people with pneumonic plague die if not treated. Treatment reduces the death rate to 50%.


    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you develop plague symptoms after exposure to fleas or rodents, especially if you live in or have visited an area where plague occurs.