Bubonic Plague – It’s Still Around

When you hear the words ‘bubonic plague’ it conjures up memories of reading about it in our history books in school recording the disastrous deaths of millions of people during certain periods in history.  Way past tense, right?  And this is the 21st century so we shouldn’t be concerned about it, right?

Not. The bubonic plague is caused by the bacteria yersinia pestis and most of the time humans get it from a flea bite from fleas carried by animals.

However, most recently a couple in Mongolia ate the raw kidney of a marmot, which is believed by local folk remedy to provide good health. However they died of the plague. Health authorities there declared a quarantine of the area and local people and foreigners who had come into contact with the couple.

Centuries ago when the plague as rampant, it got into people’s blood and turned their limbs black before death and because of that it was referred to as the black death.

Around the 6th century during the Roman Empire the plague struck and it killed 25 million people and it eventually wiped out 60 percent of the population in all of Europe during the Middle Ages

Before antibiotics were available the plague killed 66 – 93% of anyone who came down with it. But with antibiotics the mortality rate goes down to around 16%.

In the US, usually one person dies from the plague and about 7 get sick from it.

The common symptoms which appear within seven days after infection are fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, chills and coughing.  If you develop huge lymph nodes see a doctor immediately. Some people have been known to have their lymph nodes get as large as a chicken egg.

It is highly recommended that you  see a doctor if you exhibit these symptoms especially you live in an area that has been known to have had the plague before.particularly in the following states of Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico, where an average of seven human plague cases are reported each year to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

The CDC says you should not feed rodents like squirrels and rats that carry fleas and definitely don’t touch them if they’ve died.

The disease has recently made a come back and worldwide it has caused almost 50,000 human cases over the last 20 years and the World Health Organization has categorized the plague as a re-emerging disease.

The US has done a really good job of getting rid of the plague bacteria. The CDC recommends good hygiene to prevent and protect yourself from the bacteria yersinia pestis.

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