The Biblionic Plague

The Bubonic Plague is a disease that has been called the Black Death because of the millions of people it killed in the Middle Ages.   Even though it is not widespread today, the Plague still exists.   In our modern society where we worry about biological warfare, the Plague may be considered a threat in countries where there is pollution.   I have chosen to research the Plague because of its historical significance and the potential for it to be used as a weapon.   The Bubonic Plague is caused by an infection of the Yersinia pestis bacterium.   This bacterium survives in the guts of fleas which are often carried by rats, and in the American West by prairie dogs, squirrels, rabbits, and other small mammals.
Humans catch the Bubonic Plague if they are bitten by an infected flea.   The bacteria then enter the blood stream and reproduce in the lymph nodes of its victims.   The Pneumonic form of the Plague is transferred by infected droplets from sneezing and coughing victims.   Once inside the lungs, the Yersinia pestis bacteria reproduce rapidly.   In the Septicemic form of the Plague, deep cuts with infected materials or untreated Bubonic infections can lead to an infection in the blood.
Once a person is infected through a flea bite, it may take 2 to 6 days for symptoms to occur.   Without treatment, death is eminent for more than 50% of those infected.   The symptoms are swollen and painful lymph nodes known as buboes, often found in the armpits, groin, or neck.   Fever and exhaustion also occur.   In the more serious Pneumonic (lung infection) and Septicemic (blood infection) forms, the symptoms are much more severe.   In Pneumonic Plague, the symptoms also include a bloody cough.
Once diagnosed, the treatment for the Plague is relatively simple.   Antibiotics like Streptomycin are used to kill off the infection, and other medications may be used to treat the swelling and pain associated with the disease.   Diagnosis must be early because of the short incubation time....