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Plague (cont.)

Plague Disease Treatment

If doctors suspect a patient may have plague, health-care professionals will take precautions when dealing with the patient and will wear goggles, gloves, gowns, and masks.

  • Patients are isolated and precautions taken not to infect others. Some patients may need help breathing and are given oxygen. They are kept away from others for two to three days after antibiotic treatment has started or until the infection is cleared.
  • Most patients experience some degree of septic shock (low blood pressure), and specialists monitor this closely in an intensive care unit.
  • Medical management of plague can involve a number of medications. Antibiotics must be given early in the infection to maximize the chance of the antibiotics killing Y. pestis bacteria. These antibiotics might include streptomycin sulfate in combination with tetracycline and other antibiotics.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2016

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