http://ponderosa-pine.uoregon.edu/students/Janis/menu.html Abstract Bubonic plague has had a major impact on the history of the world. Caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and transmitted by fleas often found on rats, bubonic plague has killed over 50 million people over the centuries. Burrowing rodent populations across the world keep the disease present in the world today. Outbreaks, though often small, still occur in many places. The use of antibiotics and increased scientific knowledge first gained in the 1890s have reduced the destruction of plague outbreaks.
Also, most people seem to be ignorant of the fact that each year “…tuberculosis kills nearly 2 million people worldwide”(Mayo Clinic 1). This makes it the most deadly infectious disease in the world, even above HIV. There are multiple species of bacterium responsible for transmitting TB to humans, (some of which come from animals) all originating from the genus Mycobacterium. The species that are most commonly known to infect humans and some animals are M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum, M. microti, and M. avium (Buikstra and Roberts 4). However, the methods of transmission do not seem to differ from species to species.
Popular belief states rats caused the Black Death. Because people can become sick with the bubonic plague from fleas that are carried by an infected rodent like a rat, it is common for individuals to also believe the Black Death was caused by a bubonic plague. The common belief blames the rats for the origination of the disease since it is believed by many that the Black Death was a bubonic plague. The theory involving the rats spreading the Black Death caused by the bubonic plague is invalid in that rats are also killed by the bubonic plague. If a rat were carrying the plague, they would die off faster than they could spread the disease onward.
The Plague The rats did it! Rats, almost single handedly, killed off about a third of the European population throughout the 14th and 15th centuries. Its effects on western civilization still lasts today, but for the people who lived during the plagues wish indeed that they did not. Society was depressed, the economy was struggling, food was scarce, and all of Europe was in battle. Who would want to live in these dramatic conditions?
How did the disease travel so quickly if humans could only survive from the disease a maximum of a week? The answer is rats and flies. In Rats, Communications, and Plague: Toward an Ecological History, by Michael McCormick, McCormick talks about the rat and how it was so influential in the spread of the disease specifically the Rattus rattus. The rattus rattus is the black rat or ship rat that was responsible for the rapid spread of the plague. The rat would be a host to flies, which carried the disease.
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.
Doctors were able to see very similar symptoms of the plague in both people and rodents that were victims of a fleabite. The bacterium, Yersinia pestis is considered extremely potent because it is of a mutant variety of the bacterium which causes the Bubonic plague. These bacteria could not survive outside of the animal hosts it infected and could n... ... middle of paper ... ...spread by PEOPLE’, Mailonline.com http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2027347/Black-Death-backtrack-Dont-blame-rats-plague-spread-PEOPLE.html Byrne, J. P. (2006) Daily life during the Black Death (The Greenwood Press “Daily life through history” series, ISSN 1080-4749) Medieval England: The Black Death of 1348 to 1350: (n.d.) History Learning Site http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/black_death_of_1348_to_1350.htm Plague: The Black Death: (n.d.) National Geographic http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-diseases/plague-article/ Richard, K.S. (2011, April) The Global Impacts of the Black Death http://geography.about.com/od/culturalgeography/a/Impacts-Of-The-Black-Death.htm Zapotoczny, W.S (2006), The Political and Social Consequences of the Black Death, 1348 -1351 http://www.wzaponline.com/BlackDeath.pdf
Its method of transmission was from ticks that bite infected rodents, and then transmitted to humans. As a result, the Plague has most famously been called "the Black Death" because it can cause skin sores that form black scabs. This research paper will discuss: the description, microbiological classification and identification, life cycle, diseases, diagnosis and treatments of Y. pestis. Throughout history, Y. pestis, the unknown causative agent of the plague, a disease that were first described in the Old Testament and have persisted into the modern era. Y. pestis has caused large-scale epidemics, resulting in many changes to the ... ... middle of paper ... ...e cycle is initiated again with another flea bite.
This bacteria comes from rat fleas. The rats carry the bacteria in their digestive tracts which would then travel to the fleas and would not harm them. When the rats die, the fleas move on to another rat and when that rat is bit, it becomes infected with the bacteria as well. The disease killed about two thirds of the infected humans with four days that they became infected. Bubonic plague is a derivative from the Greek word “βουβών” which means groin.
If the plague is left untreated it is fatal in thirty to seventy five percent of all cases. Mortality in treated cases is only five to ten percent. History Of The Bubonic Plague The origin of the bubonic plague is unknown but it may have started in Africa or India. Colonies of infected rats were established in Northern India, many years ago. Some of these rodents had infected traders on the route between the Middle East and China.