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Plague

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Plague is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Black Death
  • Black Plague
  • La Peste
  • pestilential fever

Disorder Subdivisions

  • pneumonic plague
  • bubonic plague
  • septicemic plague

General Discussion

Plague is an acute, severe infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The bacterium is found in fleas and wild rodents such as rats, squirrels, chipmunks or prairie dogs. Plague is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted to humans through animals, most often through the bites of fleas or through direct contact with infected animal tissue. The disease is most common in parts of Africa and Asia but it also occurs in some areas of the western United States. Symptoms can include an abrupt onset of chills, fever, and enlarged, painful lymph nodes (buboes). Treatment must start immediately to avoid life-threatening complications. Although plague is extremely rare in the United States, interest in the infection has heightened in recent years because of its potential use as an agent of biological warfare.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
TDD: (888)232-6348
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Office of Communications and Government Relations
6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
TDD: (800)877-8339
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20
Geneva 27, 1211
Switzerland
Tel: 41227912111
Fax: 41227913111
Internet: http://www.who.int/en/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  2/4/2013
Copyright  1987, 1988, 1989, 1998, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2013 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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