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Plague (cont.)

Plague Disease Prognosis

Patients with plague may develop meningitis (infection and swelling of the brain), septic shock (dangerously low blood pressure with decreased function of the kidneys, brain, or other organs due to a serious system-wide blood infection), tissue death and bleeding, and swelling around the heart. All may lead to death.

  • The death rate is about 13% for those treated for bubonic plague.
  • A person with primary or secondary septicemic plague (infection in the bloodstream with associated shock symptoms) has an approximate 40% death rate, even when treated.
  • Pneumonic plague has about a 100% death rate if not treated within the first 24 hours.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2016

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Plague, first described in the Old Testament, has persisted into the modern era.

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