Pneumonic plague is a highly infectious disease which can destroy a victim's lungs within hours of exposure. The initial symptoms of this airborne disease are fever and coughing. The antibiotic tetracycline is effective in combating the disease.
At outbreak of pneumonic plague in the state of Gujarat in India in 1994 claimed the lives of over 100 people and affected several hundred others. The government, as part of its initiative to combat the disease, advised all residents of the area to take tetracycline. Public announcements and media reports were used to calm the fear of the population and discourage people from fleeing to other areas and possibly spreading the disease.