- Bubonic plague
- The most common form of the plague, named for the characteristic buboes — buboes are enlarged lymph nodes ("swollen glands") — in the groin which are usually very tender and painful. Lymph nodes may be similarly affected elsewhere such as in the armpits and neck. Common but less specific features of the disease include headache, fever, chills, and weakness. The bubonic plague is caused by bacteria called Yersinia pestis. The bacteria are transmitted from infected rats to the oriental rat flea to people. (The rats are a "reservoir" for the disease. The fleas are the "vectors" that carry the bacteria from the rat reservoir to the human host.) The bubonic plague caused the "black death" (the black plague) characterized by gangrene of the fingers, toes, and nose. See the Plague.
* * *bubonic plague n plague caused by a bacterium of the genus Yersinia (Y. pestis syn. Pasteurella pestis) and characterized esp. by the formation of buboes compare PNEUMONIC PLAGUE
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* * *the most common form of plague, transmitted by the bite of infected fleas. It is typically characterized by abrupt onset of fever, chills, weakness, and headache, followed by pain, tenderness, and lymphadenopathy (buboes) of the regional lymph nodes, usually inguinal, femoral, axillary, and cervical nodes. There is a marked hemorrhagic tendency with disseminated intravascular coaglation, necrotic purpura, and extensive symmetrical gangrene. Hematogenous dissemination may establish suppurative foci throughout the body. Particularly severe complications include pneumonia (see pneumonic p.) and septicemia (see septicemic p.).
Medical dictionary. 2011.