Yersinia Pestis (plague)

Your Path

  • Yersinia Pestis (plague)


  • Skin
  • Respiratory tract


  • Passed from rodents to humans by fleas, or direct contact w/infected animals
  • Humans spread via respiratory droplets

Risk Factors

  • Direct contact w/rodent feces, flea bites, contact w/infected animals (rabbits, squirrels, prairie dogs, dogs/cats)--> skin infection--> then via blood to lungs (secondary pneumonia)
  • Humans spread via respiratory droplets (person-to-person)--> primary pneumonia
  • Rural Western US


  • Rapid onset fever, chills, sepsis
  • Cough, Sob, sputum--> pneumonia w/rapid progression to severe illness w/high mortality
  • Incubation 1-4d for primary pneumonia
  • Skin nodules, tender adenopathy

Physical Exam Findings

  • Lungs: F, cough, focal lung findings
  • Skin: erythema, edema, tender adenopathy (buboes)