Plague Home > What Is the Cure for Bubonic Plague?

A combination of supportive care and antibiotics is generally used as the cure for bubonic plague. It is important for a patient to receive treatment as soon as possible. When an infection with the bacteria that causes bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis) is suspected, the person is often hospitalized and placed in isolation. Even before lab tests come back, plague treatment should be started.
 
Specific antibiotics used as treatment can include:
 
  • Streptomycin
  • Gentamicin.
     
When treatment for bubonic plague is started early, the mortality rate is 15 percent, compared to the 50 to 90 percent mortality rate that exists if left untreated.
 
Supportive care means treating symptoms and complications that occur as a result of bubonic 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.
 
(Click Cure for Bubonic Plague for more information on supportive care and antibiotics, including what types may be used and how they are administered.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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