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Plague  Lesson 3
 Differential Diagnosis

Bubonic Plague

  • Diseases to Consider - Acute lymphadenitis associated with bubonic plague must be differentiated from other causes. You should note that the bubo is exquisitely tender, whereas that is not generally the case with these other diseases. Also, with plague, a rapid onset of fever accompanies the lymph node swelling. Other causes can be:
    • Appendicitis - abdominal mesenteric nodes become painful from infective flea bites to the trunk.
    • Capnocytophaga canimorsus - from animal bites or scratches.
    • Cellulitis - They produce localizing lymphadenopathy.
    • Lymphogranuloma Venereum
    • Non-specific Infections - May produce localized, unilateral lymphadenopathy.
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Lymphogranuloma venereum of the groin.

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Page last reviewed February 12, 2007
Page last modified September 7, 2004

  • Content source: CDC Emergency Risk Communication Branch (ERCB), Division of Emergency Operations (DEO), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
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