A bubo can grow to the size of a lemon and its skin can turn blue.
In about 30% of cases, the bubo will burst through the skin, continue to flow, and remains open. It can become infected by other bacteria and take months to heal.
Buboes can grow near the throat, neck, anus, rectum, and cervix. In the case of buboes of the rectum and anus, there may be rectal discharge that can cause the lining of the rectum to swell, bleed, and erode. If the lining erodes up to the colon, the rectum can swell almost closed.
Chronic inflammation of the lymph nodes can lead to genital elephantiasis,
narrowing of the rectal passage or stricture, perirectal abscess, and
abnormal rectal channels or tunnel-like lesions, also called fistulas.
MYTH: The English nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" still sung by young children today probably dates back to the plague epidemic of the 17th century. The roses in the rhyme refer to the red spots and buboes.
The survivors called it the Great Pestilence. Victorian scientists dubbed it the Black Death. The disease that spread like wildfire through Europe between 1347 and 1351 is still the most violent epidemic in recorded history. "Everyone" believes that it was caused by bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, a flea-borne bacterial disease of rodents that jumped to humans. However, there has been a lot of recent scholarship that seeks to dispell this.
Victims of the Black Death first suffered pain, fever and boils, then swollen lymph nodes and blotches on the skin. After that they vomited blood and died within three days. No one who vomited blood survived.
The Black Death spread rapidly. In comparison, the bubonic plague spreads slowly (diseases originating in animals tend to not spread as rapidly). Bishop's records from several English dioceses indicate that the mortality of the disease was many times greater then the plague. The monthly mortality rates were 35 to 45 times higher than for the bubonic plague.