Yersinia pestis

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Known as the "Black Plague" or "Black Death" or just "The Plague", Yersinia pestis is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly. This bacterium is found in animals throughout charted space and is usually transmitted to humans through fleas.

Description / Specifications[edit]

The Yersinia pestis bacterium is found in animals throughout charted space and is usually transmitted to humans or Vargr through fleas.

The risk of Yersinia pestis is highest in areas that have: -

  • low technology
  • poor medical care
  • poor sanitation,
  • overcrowding, and
  • a large population of rodents.

Signs and symptoms of the plague[edit]

People infected with Yersinia pestis usually develop flu-like symptoms two to six days after infection. There are other symptoms (below) that can help distinguish the three forms.

Bubonic plague symptoms[edit]

Symptoms of bubonic plague generally appear within two to six days of infection. They include:

  • fever and chills
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • general weakness
  • seizures

You may also experience painful, swollen lymph glands, called buboes. These typically appear in the groin, armpits, neck, or site of the insect bite or scratch. The buboes are what give bubonic plague its name.

Septicemic plague symptoms[edit]

Septicemic plague symptoms usually start within two to seven days after exposure, but septicemic plague can lead to death before symptoms even appear. Symptoms can include:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever and chills
  • extreme weakness
  • bleeding (blood may not be able to clot)
  • shock
  • skin turning black (Gangrene)

Pneumonic plague symptoms[edit]

Pneumonic plague symptoms may appear as quickly as one day after exposure to the bacteria. These symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • chest pain
  • cough
  • fever
  • headache
  • overall weakness
  • bloody sputum (saliva and mucus or pus from the lungs)


All forms of Yersinia pestis are susceptible to most forms of Antibiotic drugs.

History & Background / Dossier[edit]

In medieval times, the plague was responsible for the deaths of millions of people in Europe and Asia.

Yersinia pestis usually contracted when an infected rodent or flea bites you. In very rare cases, you can get the bacteria from material that has come into contact with an infected person.

Yersinia pestis infects your lymphatic system (a part of the immune system), causing inflammation in your lymph nodes. In this form it is Bubonic Plague. Untreated, it can move into the blood (causing Septicemic Plague) or to the lungs (causing Pneumonic Plague).

It’s rare for the bubonic plague or septicemic plague forms to spread from one human/vargr to another. It may be spread by scratches from Cats.

Many types of rodent can be affected by plague. Wild carnivores can become infected by eating other infected animals. These infected animals and their fleas serve as long-term reservoirs for the bacteria.

Both Dogs and Horses can contract this disease.

This disease has been weaponised by various groups throughout history. Those using this disease as a weapon have been successfully prosecuted under War Crime statutes.

References & Contributors / Sources[edit]

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Yersinia_pestis. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of Wikipedia is available under the Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.