Plague - Causes

What caused your plague?

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What causes plague?

Infection with Y. pestis causes plague in humans. Y. pestis is a bacterium that is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium genetically related to Escherichia coli that resembles a "safety pin" when stained with certain chemicals and viewed with a microscope. In general, plague circulates in rodent populations where infected fleas on rodents transfer the bacteria to other rodents. When the rodent population invades human habitats or when humans invade rodent habitats, the infected fleas on the rodents will also bite humans. This flea bite begins the development of plague in an individual. However, once a human is infected, it is fairly easy for that person to infect other people with the organisms especially if they develop pulmonary infection because droplets containing Y. pestis from the lungs are expelled into the air and can infect other humans.

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