Plague is transmitted to humans by fleas or by direct exposure to infected tissues or respiratory droplets; the disease is characterized by fever, chills, headache, malaise, prostration, and leukocytosis that manifests in one or more of the following principal clinical forms:
A clinically compatible case without presumptive or confirmatory laboratory results
A clinically compatible case with presumptive laboratory results
A clinically compatible case with confirmatory laboratory results
The 1996 case definition appearing on this page was re-published in the 2009 CSTE position statement 09-ID-52. Thus, the 1996 and 2010 versions of the case definition are identical.