Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
The risk of developing plaque is very low. Worldwide, only a few thousand people develop plague each year. However, your risk of plague can be increased by where you live and travel, your occupation, and even by some of your hobbies.
Plague outbreaks are most common in rural areas and in urban areas characterized by overcrowding, poor sanitation and a high rat population. The greatest number of human plague infections occurs in Africa.
Veterinarians and their assistants have a higher risk of coming into contact with domestic cats that may have become infected with plague. Also at higher risk are people who work outdoors in areas where plague-infested animals are common.
Camping, hunting or hiking in areas where plague-infected animals reside can increase your risk of being bitten by an infected flea.
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