Plague Home > Treatments for Bubonic Plague
Supportive care and antibiotics are usually used as treatments for bubonic plague. It is important that these treatments be started immediately to avoid serious complications. When treatments for bubonic plague are started early on in the infection, the morality rate is 15 percent, compared to the 50 to 90 percent mortality rate that exists if the disease is not treated.
When an infection with the bacteria that causes plague (Yersinia pestis) is suspected, the person is typically hospitalized and placed in isolation. Even before lab tests come back, treatments for bubonic plague will be started -- usually involving antibiotics and supportive care. Supportive care is treating symptoms and complications that occur as a result of plague. It also important that people who have been in close contact with the infected person be identified and evaluated for possible treatment.
Antibiotics as Treatments for Bubonic PlagueSpecific antibiotics used as treatments for bubonic plague can include:
Other antibiotics, including tetracyclines and chloramphenicol, can also be effective. For someone with severe bubonic plague symptoms, these antibiotics are given through an intravenous (IV) line. Mild cases of bubonic plague may be treated with antibiotics taken by mouth.
As mentioned, treatments for bubonic plague also involve supportive care -- treating symptoms and complications that occur as a result of plague. For example, if a person develops lung problems, such as difficulty breathing, he or she may be placed on a ventilator, which is a machine that helps the person breathe.