Plague

Plague.  Photo from www.panoramix.ru

What is it?

Plague — This is a serious infectious disease, relating to the quarantine diseases. Caused by the bacterium Yersinia (Iersinia Pestis). The causative agent of plague was discovered in 1894 by French scientist independently A. Yersenom (1863-1943) and Japanese scientists S. Kitazato (1852-1931).

Plague microbe is sensitive to conventional disinfectants and killed in boiling water for 1 minute. However, the corpses of animals it can be stored up to 60 days, tolerates low temperatures and freezing.

Epidemic of "black death" in the past took the lives of many people around the world. The first pandemic of plague, known in the literature as the "Justinian Plague", originated in the VI century in the Eastern Roman Empire. During the pandemic in 50 years killed about 100 million people. The second pandemic started in the XIV century in the Crimea, quickly spread to the Mediterranean and Western Europe. For 5 years, the epidemic claimed about 60 million man. At the end of XIX century there was a third pandemic, which began in Hong Kong, the perpetrators of which were rats from ships. This led to the outbreak of epidemics in more than 100 ports in many countries. In India alone, the epidemic has claimed 12 million lives.

In Russia the plague-endemic regions are the Caspian depression, as well as Eastern Urals region, Stavropol region, Baikal and the Altai.

Sources of infection

Infection often transferred rodents — rats and mice, as well as proteins and wild dogs. Plague is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected animal or fleas living on it. You can become infected and also the contactairborne ways from a sick person.

What if this happens?

Incubation period of swine is usually 2 to 5 days, sometimes for several hours to 12 days. The disease begins with fever, a sharp rise in temperature to 390C, pulse rate, blood pressure falls. There delirium, confusion, impaired coordination.

There are several forms of plague: bubonic, pneumonic, septic and light (the so-called small plague).

At bubonic form swollen lymph nodes (buboes), become extremely painful, firm, but not hot (surrounded by swollen tissue). May increase the liver and spleen, which is considerably during the inspection. Lymph nodes are filled with pus and can be opened. The death of a patient in the form of bubonic plague without treatment occurs between the third and fifth day of illness. It kills more than 60% of the patients.

At pneumonic plague lung damage occurs. In the first 24 hours of the patient manifests cough, phlegm first clear soon stained with blood. The patient diescourse 48 hours only effective treatment, begun in the earliest stages of the disease.

At septicemic form Germs spread the blood around the body, and the person dies within a maximum of days.

In areas endemic for plague, can be observed small form plague. Is shown enlarged lymph nodes, fever, headache, these symptoms disappear within a week.

Diagnosis and treatment

For the diagnosis of plague is conducted by:

  • Laboratory inoculation and isolation of bacteria from the blood, sputum, or lymph node tissue;
  • immunological diagnostics;
  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction).

If you suspect a plague patient is isolated, for the staff required to wear anti-plague costumes. After discharge people for 3 months under the supervision of doctors.

If treatment is initiated in a timely manner, the plague quite successfully treated with appropriate antibiotics.

Plague vaccine exists, but for 100% of the disease does not protect. The incidence among vaccinated decreases5-10 time, and the disease occurs in a milder form.

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