The dangerous contagious disease acquired by humans from fleas that have been infected with blood sucked from infected rats. It causes high fever, gross swelling of lymph glands in the groins and axillae (known as buboes), skin rash, and debilitation and is often fatal. This was almost certainly the disease called the black death in medieval Europe. It can occur sporadically but often it is highly contagious, requiring universal precautions for medical and nursing care.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.