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April 25, 1977

Plague and Pregnancy: A Case Report

Author Affiliations

From the Field Services Division, Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, and the New Mexico Health and Social Services Department, Santa Fe (Dr Mann). Dr Moskowitz is in private practice in Santa Fe.

JAMA. 1977;237(17):1854-1855. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270440044020

PLAGUE, like other severe systemic illnesses acquired during pregnancy, may cause spontaneous abortion.1 In his comprehensive review of plague, Pollitzer2 noted, "Unless specific treatment is started early, serious attacks of plague in any form usually lead to abortion or miscarriage in pregnant patients, events which exert a most unfavorable influence on the outcome of the illness." Descriptions of plague during pregnancy are principally derived from the preantibiotic era.1,2 This communication describes a case of bubonic plague that occurred in a pregnant woman from Santa Fe, NM, during the 1975 plague season.

Report of a Case  A 28-year-old woman in her fifth month of pregnancy was examined by one of us (R.M.) at a Santa Fe hospital on Sept 15, 1975; her chief complaints were chills, fever, and a painful right inguinal swelling of 12 hours' duration. The patient and her family had recently moved into a house