The Bubonic Plague

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Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis. This infection was named after Alexandre Yersin, a bacteriologist and physician who first discovered that this bacterium was the cause of the bubonic plague. Bubonic plague is known by different names such as Black Death and Black Plague. Black Death and Black Plague seemed to have been the perfect names at the moment because black symbolizes pain, misery, and death. The appearance of a black dot in the underarm area also influenced the naming of this disease. Skin tissues would become damaged causing a black discoloration of the skin. This infection was also known as the Great Plague. In earlier times, it was also called “The Great Mortality” because numerous people succumbed…show more content…
The sources of this outbreak were either bubonic or viral in nature. Basically, commercial trading ships carrying infected people, rats and flea-infested cargo were the primary mode of transmitting the bubonic strand while the viral stand was pneumonic and spread by person-to-person contact. Russia’s rural areas were affected by the plague in the latter 19th century; however, there were only about 420 deaths due to better hygiene and patient isolation. The Siberian area saw a much greater death toll because of increased prices and demand for marmot skins. Marmots were small rats known to carrier this disease. Hunters of these rats were responsible for spreading this disease which killed approximately 60,000 people. Bubonic plague was found in other places but mostly contained in Asia. The disease was also found in Hawaii and San Franciso around the 20th century. Modern human outbreaks are linked to high mortality rates amongst rats without the presence of buboes and swelling of the groin. The third outbreak was instrumental in leading to modern day…show more content…
Evidence pointed out that there were as many deaths in thinly populated areas as those areas that were highly settled and there were as many deaths in the winter as in the summer. The presence of fleas in winter months is highly unlikely. According to Twigg, a medical historian, tales were told that described death as occurring within three to four days after incubation which also was inconsistent with the three-phase stages of bubonic plague. (Cantor ) In some cases death occurred without the presence of fever or buboes. It was strongly speculated that anthrax, a cattle disease, could have been partially responsible for numerous deaths. Anthrax began with symptoms similar to bubonic plague. There were arguments for and against the idea that rodents and cattle were responsible for these deaths. Humans eating tainted meat from infected cattle explained how the cattle disease was transmitted to humans. Because of limited medical advances during that time period, it was not clearly determined whether bubonic plague and anthrax

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