General Overview: Historically, plague has been
recognized for the epidemics of mass human casualties it has
inflicted. Today, it is still prevalent in various areas
throughout the world (not US).
Spread by fleas, plague manifests
itself in two main forms: pneumonic and bubonic. Pneumonic
plague occurs from breathing infected air; bubonic plague occurs
through skin transmission of the disease (e.g. - flea bite).
Bubonic plague is characterized by extremely painful and swollen
lymph nodes called buboes. Person-to-person transmission
of plague can occur but only in the pneumonic form.
Although the bubonic form can't be spread to another person, if
it spreads to the lungs it can result in a secondary case of
pneumonic plague. In any case of pneumonic plague, death
usually occurs without early treatment.