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

pest , pestis

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