General, Research, Technology

Bubonic plague - the deadliest infection in human history?

For a long time, the plague inspires people with panic. “Black death”, as it was called in antiquity in the VI century alone, killed 100 million people - just think about these numbers. Some states, such as the Byzantine Empire, have practically become empty: from 1346 to 1351, the great pestilence killed at least 24 million people in Europe. At that time, cities with thousands of people affected by the pandemic left five to ten survivors. Deadly plague epidemics formed the basis of such works as The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, Feast During the Plague by Alexander Pushkin, Edgar Allan Poe's story The King of the Plague, and the novel by Albert Camus, The Plague. It seemed that in the XX and XXI century this disease had practically disappeared, but is it so?

In 2019, researchers found that the first focus of a medieval plague pandemic originated in the territory of modern Tatarstan

What is the plague?

Despite being one of the deadliestdiseases in the history of mankind are easily treated with antibiotics, this potentially fatal disease is still among us. The fact is that the causative agent of plague are bacteria called Yersinia pestiswhose natural hosts are fleas,parasitic on some rodents. Bubonic plague is the most common form of the disease that people can catch. The disease got its name because of specific symptoms - the appearance of painful, swollen lymph nodes or “buboes” in the groin or armpit.

From 2010 to 2015, 3,248 cases of the disease were recorded worldwide, including 584 fatal. They began to call the Black Death plague in connection with gangrenous blackening and the death of fingers and toes.

The first symptoms of the disease appear betweentwo and six days after infection. Along with enlarged lymph nodes, which can be as large as chicken eggs, other symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Plague can also affect the lungs, causing coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause sepsis, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. But how and where can you get the plague?

In the stomach of fleas, the plague bacterium feels great

You can become infected with black death as a result of:

  • Bite of infected fleas
  • Touching infected animals such as rats and mice
  • Inhalation of infected respiratory droplets distributed by infected people or animals
  • Domestic cats and dogs can become infected by flea bites or by eating infected rodents

Infection can also enter the body througha cut on the skin if a person comes into close contact with the blood of an infected animal. The body of a person who died after being infected by the plague is a danger to others, especially for those who are preparing the body for burial.

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China plague outbreak

Timely antibiotic treatment hasvital for the patient, since if the plague is not treated, it can kill. Early diagnosis, including laboratory tests, can save lives. Speaking about this terrible disease, it is important to understand that from time to time the disease occurs in different planets. In recent years, outbreaks have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar. Although plague was the cause of widespread outbreaks of disease in the Middle Ages, modern outbreaks are fortunately small. But this does not mean that we should not worry. Read about how reading news about the end of the world affects health, read in our material.

According to CNN News with reference toXinhua State News Agency of China, Inner Mongolia authorities shut down several tourist sites after a confirmed case of bubonic plague. The outbreak occurred in Bayannur, located northwest of Beijing. Five nearby tourist points are currently closed, and visitors are “strictly prohibited from entering and visiting the plague area. The cause of the outbreak of the plague is considered a growing population of rodents and eating groundhog meat infected with the bacterium Yersinia pestis. At the time of writing, the patient is isolated and undergoing treatment in a hospital. Doctors assess his condition as stable.

This is the border between Russia and East Mongolia. And they say do not worry

Do you think the world should be afraid of another pandemic? We will wait for the answer here!

According to BBC News, experts say thatthe key to successful treatment is its detection at an early stage, because patients can be isolated and treated, thereby preventing the spread of infection. Bubonic plaguealthough this may seem alarming, being another major infectious disease, amenable to antibiotic treatment.