The Bubonic Plague

The Bubonic Plague is one of the most
deadly diseases of all time as well as one of the most
famous. Although it is not common these days to see it, it
was widespread during the medieval times where millions
had died. It was so widespread, it was said that there was
not enough living to bury the dead. Rodents ran the
unsanitary streets that carried the fleas that had the disease.
This is how the Bubonic Plague was spread. It was
believed at the time by the people that the gods were
punishing them for things they had done wrong in the past.
The Bubonic Plague is transmitted either though an infected
rodent (rats, rabbits, etc.) carrying bugs (fleas). A person
will become ill two to six days after being infected with the
Bubonic Plague. It was first thought that the rats themselves
transmitted the Bubonic Plague because when people
found dead rats in the towns' streets, they would usually
flee their civilization in fear of the rodents. But in 1898,
Simond observed that people would only get the disease if
you came in contact with a rodent or rat that was dead for
a short amout of time. Simond also discovered that if you
were in contact with one that had been dead for more than
twenty-four hours, the chance of catching the Bubonic
Plague would be quite minimal. It is called the Bubonic
Plague because once you have the disease, it will, in most
cases, cause lymph glands to swell up and become very
tender with pain. These swollen glands are called "buboes".
If the Bubonic Plague is left untreated, the bacteria will
enter the blood stream and travel to other places inside the
body like organs such as lungs, liver, and the spleen. If it
does enter the lungs, it can cause a pneumonic form of the
Bubonic Plague. The symptoms for this are high fever,
chils, cough, and breathing difficulty. They may even spit up
blood, depending upon how severe the infection is. Like I
said earlier, the Bubonic Plague is not very common these
days, but that is because we live in the United States where
our sanitary level is fairly high. But in Africa, Asia, and
South America, several people die from it every year. In
fact, there is reported that world wide tehre are one
thousand to three thousand cases of the Bubonic Plague
each year. In the United States, the Bubonic Plague is only
found in warmer and more unsanitary regions like the
southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, etc.). Around ten to
fifteen or so a year are infected with the Bubonic Plague,
and of them, only 14 percent (one out of seven) actually die
from the disease. The last outbreak of the Bubonic Plague
in the United States was in the years of 1924 to 1925 in
Los Angeles. The Bubonic Plague virus was discovered
and isolated in 1984 by two men in Hong Kong, Japan
known as Yersin and Kitasato. The virus was named after
Yersin (Yersinia pestis) and Kitasato was left in the dust.