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This image depicts a black rat, Rattus rattus, which is one of the amplification hosts associated with the spread of black death, or plague. Rats infected with the plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, host fleas, which ingest the rat’s infected blood, in turn themselves becoming infected. If these fleas then bite a human being in order to obtain another blood meal, they transfer these bacteria, thereby, infecting the human with plague.

Photo by: U.S. CDC |  VIRIN: 210525-A-A1902-0002.JPG