What kind of plagues are there?

Do you know what a plague is? No, it’s not just something you catch from being in the vicinity of your annoying neighbor too frequently. A plague is a type of infectious disease that spreads quickly among individuals or populations, often causing widespread illness and death.

Throughout human history, plagues have been responsible for some of the deadliest outbreaks on record. From smallpox to Ebola, these diseases can bring entire societies to their knees – sometimes with frighteningly rapid results.

But what exactly are the different kinds of plagues out there? In this article, we’ll explore some common types — from those that ravaged ancient civilizations to modern-day pandemics.

Bubonic Plague

Let’s start with one that many are familiar with: Bubonic plague. This is a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis and primarily spread through flea bites.

Symptoms usually start within two to six days after exposure and typically include fever, chills, headache and tender lymph nodes – aka “buboes.”

If left untreated (since antibiotics weren’t always an option), bubonic plague could escalate into septicemic or pneumonic forms – which were even more deadly if you can believe it.

Spanish Flu

Speaking of deadly…The Spanish flu outbreak was one for the ages — killing roughly 50 million people worldwide between 1918-1920 (maybe stay away from Spain next time you plan your vacation).

This particular strain actually originated in birds but jumped species (thanks again nature). It then mutated into an influenza virus that easily transmitted between humans droplets expelled when breathing/coughing/sneezing/wheezing/saying ‘ahh’ etc.

Infected individuals would experience symptoms ranging from mild coughs/chills/fever/bad body odor (joke) all the way up to severe respiratory distress with potential complications such as secondary bacterial infections.


While not technically a plague, HIV/AIDS is definitely a pandemic that has affected millions of people around the globe.

AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) and its underlying virus – HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) – took the world by storm in the 1980s and has since become one of our most persistently deadly diseases.

HIV actually attacks your body’s immune system leaving you more susceptible to other illnesses. Once AIDS sets in, there are few treatments available leading to death within just a few years.


Of course we can’t leave out our current nemesis — COVID-19…Also known as “The Rona” or “that thing keeping me from my best life.”

This particular coronavirus spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person enters close contact with others – another reminder why it’s essential to stay distant from those pesky family members.

Symptoms range from mild cough/fever/rash/bad dreams (no comment) all way up to severe pneumonia/fatigue/death unfortunately. The development of vaccines have brought some hope for ending this ongoing pandemic & getting back to normalcy eventually!

Black Death

Now let’s go waaaayyy back into history with the Black Death! This was one of those pandemics where people freaked out about rats…not even kidding here folks.

As mentioned earlier, bubonic plague was caused by Yersinia pestis which could infect fleas who then would bite rats thus spreading disease among rodent populations worldwide!! And when humans also got bitten by fleas carrying these bacteria…well not great results…

During this time frame 1347-1352 approximately 75 million yes MILLION people were estimated dead due directly/indirectly relationship with Black Death(miss u guyz). Symptoms included a fever, coughing fits and the most famous wait for it swelling lymph nodes turning black.


One of the oldest and deadliest plague type diseases we know is malaria. This insect-borne disease (transmitted by an infected mosquito(they had to go ruin our outdoor activities)) afflicts hundreds of millions worldwide each year ^[1].

Symptoms vary, but include fever/chills/fatigue/etc., though in some cases may lead to vertigo or seizures (add blood-shooting-from-th-e-eyes if you watch horror movies)

So there you have it folks, just a few types of plagues over time that humanity has faced…Now obviously not everyone can be impacted & these are just highlights/quick summaries – always consult your Doctor before self-diagnoses’ with any illness! Stay safe out here people!

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