Plague is a virulent zoonosis reported most commonly from Sub-Saharan Africa. Early treatment with antibiotics is important to prevent mortality. Understanding knowledge gaps and common behaviors informs the development of educational efforts to reduce plague mortality. Methods A multi-stage cluster-sampled survey of 420 households was conducted in the plague-endemic West Nile region of Uganda to assess knowledge of symptoms and causes of plague and health care-seeking practices.

Most (84%) respondents were able to correctly describe plague symptoms; approximately 75% linked plague with fleas and dead rats. Most respondents indicated that they would seek health care at a clinic for possible plague; however plague-like symptoms were reportedly common, and in practice, persons sought care for those symptoms at a health clinic infrequently. Persons in the plague-endemic region of Uganda have a high level of understanding of plague, yet topics for targeted educational messages are apparent.