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plague

Pronunciation: plag

Definition:

  1. Any disease of wide prevalence or of excessive mortality.
  2. An acute infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and marked clinically by high fever, toxemia, prostration, a petechial eruption, lymph node enlargement, pneumonia, or hemorrhage from the mucous membranes; primarily a disease of rodents, transmitted to humans by fleas that have bitten infected animals. In humans the disease takes one of four clinical forms: bubonic plague, septicemic plague, pneumonic plague, or ambulant plague

Synonym(s): pest, pestilence1, pestis

[G. plege, a stroke, a wound; L. plaga, a stroke, injury]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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