• English

    Google Translate Disclaimer

    The Maryland Department of Information Technology (“DoIT”) offers translations of the content through Google Translate. Because Google Translate is an external website, DoIT does not control the quality or accuracy of translated content. All DoIT content is filtered through Google Translate which may result in unexpected and unpredictable degradation of portions of text, images and the general appearance on translated pages. Google Translate may maintain unique privacy and use policies. These policies are not controlled by DoIT and are not associated with DoIT’s privacy and use policies. After selecting a translation option, users will be notified that they are leaving DoIT’s website. Users should consult the original English content on DoIT’s website if there are any questions about the translated content.

    DoIT uses Google Translate to provide language translations of its content. Google Translate is a free, automated service that relies on data and technology to provide its translations. The Google Translate feature is provided for informational purposes only. Translations cannot be guaranteed as exact or without the inclusion of incorrect or inappropriate language. Google Translate is a third-party service and site users will be leaving DoIT to utilize translated content. As such, DoIT does not guarantee and does not accept responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, or performance of this service nor the limitations provided by this service, such as the inability to translate specific files like PDFs and graphics (e.g. .jpgs, .gifs, etc.).

    DoIT provides Google Translate as an online tool for its users, but DoIT does not directly endorse the website or imply that it is the only solution available to users. All site visitors may choose to use alternate tools for their translation needs. Any individuals or parties that use DoIT content in translated form, whether by Google Translate or by any other translation services, do so at their own risk. DoIT is not liable for any loss or damages arising out of, or issues related to, the use of or reliance on translated content. DoIT assumes no liability for any site visitor’s activities in connection with use of the Google Translate functionality or content.

    The Google Translate service is a means by which DoIT offers translations of content and is meant solely for the convenience of non-English speaking users of the website. The translated content is provided directly and dynamically by Google; DoIT has no direct control over the translated content as it appears using this tool. Therefore, in all contexts, the English content, as directly provided by DoIT is to be held authoritative.


    Plague Fact Sheet

    PDF Version of this Fact Sheet

    Plague is a severe disease caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis

    Yersinia pestis is found in rodents (such as rats and prairie dogs) and is passed to humans or other animals by fleas. Plague is rare in the United States and is limited to the western and southwestern parts of the country.

    People visiting or working in areas with infected rodents are at risk of catching plague

    People with jobs such as hunting and trapping have a greater chance of catching plague. Living in the western and southwestern part of the U.S. and having a house dog or cat can also put people at risk. House pets can bring in fleas, and sick cats can transmit the bacteria by biting or scratching.

    Symptoms to look for include:

    • Fever and chills
    • Tiredness
    • Muscles aches
    • Nausea
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Painful, swollen lymph glands

    The symptoms usually start 1 to 7 days after exposure to the bacteria. The first symptom is usually a swollen, red, and tender lymph node (“gland”) in the body near where the infected flea bit the person. The bacteria may spread to the blood and affect many organs including the lungs. People with “plague in the lungs” may spread the disease to other people when they cough. Patients with “plague in the lungs” should be quarantined (isolated from others) until 48 hours of antibiotics have been completed and symptoms are getting better.

    Plague can be treated with antibiotics

    Certain antibiotics are used to treat the disease and should be started early. If untreated, about half of infected persons will die. There is a vaccine that provides some protection from infection, but it doesn’t last for very long, and is only recommended for certain travelers.

    Steps to take to prevent the spread of plague:

    • Control rodent and flea populations.
    • Avoid contact with rats, prairie dogs, and other rodents.
    • Avoid flea bites by using insecticides and repellents.
    • Rat-proof buildings, store food appropriately, and dispose of garbage.
    • Wear gloves when hunting or handling wildlife.