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Essay/Term paper: The bubonic plague

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History

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The Bubonic Plague is one of the most

deadly diseases of all time as well as one of the most

famous. Although it is not common these days to see it, it

was widespread during the medieval times where millions

had died. It was so widespread, it was said that there was

not enough living to bury the dead. Rodents ran the

unsanitary streets that carried the fleas that had the disease.

This is how the Bubonic Plague was spread. It was

believed at the time by the people that the gods were

punishing them for things they had done wrong in the past.

The Bubonic Plague is transmitted either though an infected

rodent (rats, rabbits, etc.) carrying bugs (fleas). 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. These swollen glands are called "buboes".

If the Bubonic Plague is left untreated, the bacteria will

enter the blood stream and travel to other places inside the

body like organs such as lungs, liver, and the spleen. If it

does enter the lungs, it can cause a pneumonic form of the

Bubonic Plague. The symptoms for this are high fever,

chils, cough, and breathing difficulty. They may even spit up

blood, depending upon how severe the infection is. Like I

said earlier, the Bubonic Plague is not very common these

days, but that is because we live in the United States where

our sanitary level is fairly high. But in Africa, Asia, and

South America, several people die from it every year. In

fact, there is reported that world wide tehre are one

thousand to three thousand cases of the Bubonic Plague

each year. In the United States, the Bubonic Plague is only

found in warmer and more unsanitary regions like the

southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, etc.). Around ten to

fifteen or so a year are infected with the Bubonic Plague,

and of them, only 14 percent (one out of seven) actually die

from the disease. The last outbreak of the Bubonic Plague

in the United States was in the years of 1924 to 1925 in

Los Angeles. The Bubonic Plague virus was discovered

and isolated in 1984 by two men in Hong Kong, Japan

known as Yersin and Kitasato. The virus was named after

Yersin (Yersinia pestis) and Kitasato was left in the dust.  

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