Plague (Yersinia pestis) Precautions

Standard Precautions

Standard Precautions include the major features of Blood and Body Fluid Precautions (designed to reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens) and BSI (designed to reduce the risk of transmission of pathogens from moist body substances) and applies them to all patients receiving care in hospitals, regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status. Standard Precautions apply to 1) blood; 2) all body fluids, secretions, and excretions except sweat, regardless of whether or not they contain visible blood; 3) nonintact skin; and 4) mucous membranes. These are designed to reduce

Contact Precautions

In addition to Standard Precautions, use Contact Precautions, or the equivalent, for specified patients known or suspected to be infected or colonized with epidemiologically important microorganisms that can be transmitted by direct contact with the patient (hand or skin-to-skin contact that occurs when performing patient-care activities that require touching the patient’s dry skin) or indirect contact with environmental surfaces or patient-care items in the patient’s environment.

Airborne Precautions

Use Airborne Precautions, in addition to Standard Precautions, for patients known or suspected to be infected with microorganisms transmitted by airborne droplet nuclei (small-particle residue -5 µm or smaller in size- of evaporated droplets containing microorganisms that remain suspended in the air and that can be dispersed widely by air currents within a room or over a long distance).


Garner JS, Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. Guideline for isolation precautions in hospitals. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1996; 17:53-80, and Am J Infect Control 1996; 24:24-52.