The Bubonic Plague

694 Words3 Pages
The Bubonic Plague

Imagine this, one-day everyone you know is beginning to die. The world as you know it has been completely desecrated, polluted with a plague of death…a plague of black death. Many people are familiar with the bubonic plague. However not too many people are familiar with the widespread fatality the bubonic plague caused. Complete social changes followed the bubonic plague. From 542 to 1900 A.D. the bubonic plague killed approximately 37,685,229 people. It is thought that one third or one half of the world population died from the plague, with some towns having a death rate of up to 40 percent. That is more casualties then any war in history provided us with. Gigantic outbreaks occurred nearly every ten years. The bubonic plague has become the largest form of population control known to mankind.

The name bubonic plague came from the major symptom. The disease caused painful swollen lymph nodes called buboes. They are found in the groin area. Boubon is latin for buboes. The word plague was used due to the extreme number of deaths that occurred because of the disease. The bubonic plague is also known as the Black Death. This is because when one was infected, blood under the skin would dry and become black.

The causative agent of the bubonic plague is a bacterium called yersinnia pestis, also known as pasteurella pestis. The bacterium is present in rats. Today we know how it is transmitted. A flea that is feeding on a rodent that is infected also becomes infected. The bacterium then multiplies inside the flea's gut. The flea's gut then becomes clogged with the bacterium and when the flea tries to bite a human the bacterium is regurgitated

into the open wound. The human is then infected with the bubonic plague. Once the human is infected, many biological effects begin to take place. Within 2-6 days of infection, the bacterium travels through the blood stream to the liver, spleen, kidneys, lung, and brain. As soon as this happens the human experiences physical symptoms. These symptoms are shivering, vomiting, head ache, giddiness, intolerance to light, white coating on the tongue and pain in the back and limbs. Painful swollen lymph nodes occur in the thigh, neck and armpit. Blood vessels begin to burst and the dried blood turns black. If the disease is untreated there is only a 25 percent chance of survival.

There are many theories as to how the disease reached Europe.

More about The Bubonic Plague

Open Document