Friday, May 2, 2008

The Latest News and Updates on Bubonic Plague

News and Updates On the Bubonic Plague

Bubonic plague is an infection of the lymphatic system, which can affect the heart, usually resulting from the bite of an infected flea. The bacteria rapidly spread to the lymph nodes and multiply. Yersinia pestis can resist phagocytosis and even reproduce inside phagocytes and kill them. As the disease progresses the lymph nodes can hemorrhage and become necrotic. Bubonic plague can progress to the lethal septicemic plague in some cases. Source

Bubonic Plague is an acute, severe infectious disorder caused by the bacterium (bacillus) Yersinia Pestis. These bacteria can be carried by small wild rodents, other wild animals or even household pets. The disease can be transmitted to humans through the bites of fleas or through direct contact with infected animal tissues. The disorder is most common in Southeast Asia, but it also occurs in some areas of the United States. Major symptoms include an abrupt onset with chills, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes (buboes). Treatment must start immediately to avoid life-threatening complications. A milder form of Bubonic Plague, Pestis Minor, usually resolves in approximately a week with appropriate treatment. Interest in Bubonic Plague has heightened, in recent years, by the awareness of its potential use as an agent of biological warfare. Source

This particular type of plague was the bubonic plague, which is caused by the bacteria called Yersinia pests. This bacteria lived in rats and other rodents. Human beings were infected through bites from the fleas that lived on these rats. The symptoms associated with plague are bubos, which are painful swellings of the lymph nodes. These typically appear in the armpits, legs, neck, or groin. If left untreated, plague victims die within two to four days. Victims of this disease suffered swelling in the armpit and groin, as well as bleeding in the lungs. Victims also suffered a very high fever, delirium and prostration. Source

As the Plague Deniers are quick to point out, the disease that emerged from the commission’s findings bears little resemblance to the disease described in the Black Death chronicles. A case in point already mentioned is the widely different dissemination rates of the two pandemics. While the Black Death virtually leaped across Europe, sometimes traveling two to two and a half miles a day, the plague of the Third Pandemic moved at a relatively sluggish ten to twenty miles per year. Another key difference is the astonishing variation in mortality rates. How could a disease that killed at least a third of the population in one appearance (the Black Death) kill under 3 percent of the population in a later outing? Source

Plague is spread to humans via fleas from rats infected with the bacteria Yersinia pestis. The fleas bite a human host and the bacteria are passed on. Early symptoms are fever, chills, headache and extreme exhaustion. Next come swollen glands, typically in the armpits and groin area. These infected glands are called buboes, from which the name bubonic plague derives. Incubation from the time of the bite to death from the disease is about two to six days. Unchecked, the disease is quickly fatal, killing 90% or more of its victims. Source

Fleas infected with bacteria Yersinia pestis can pass on plague when they bite humans (although some scientists have questioned this cause). Within three to seven days of exposure to the bacteria, people experience the flu-like symptoms that characterise the illness. Source

There were repeated outbreaks of the diseaseduring the Elizabethan era and these outbreaks were often transmitted by the fleas that lived on rodents and animals, especially rats. Contrary to popular belief it was not just the people who lived in the towns who were at risk of catching the Black Death or Bubonic Plague. Elizabethan farmers and retailers of farm produce, such as animal hides, were in constant danger of contracting the Bubonic plague (Black Death) and this was a deadly consequence of their job. The disease could also be air bound and transmitted from an infected person's breath. A devastating outbreak of the Elizabethan plague occurred in 1563 claiming 80,000 people in England. The cause of the Bubonic plague (Black Death) was unknown during the Elizabethan era so people were not in the position to take proper care or adequate precautions. Source

Probably bubonic plague germs first existed in Africa, where they infected Egyptian rats who lived along the Nile River. These Egyptian rats were used to these germs and had adapted to them, and it didn't kill them. But when trading ships accidentally brought the black rat from India and Central Asia to Egypt, the black rats caught these germs and, not being adapted to them, died of the plague. This helped to spread the plague to people. Source

In the late fall of 1665, the death rate from the plague in London declined abruptly. People, who had evacuated the city, began to return. By 1750, the Bubonic Plague had gradually faded out in Western Europe. For the next hundred years, very few cases of the plague were reported. However, in 1894, there was a new outbreak in China. But medical science had made many advances since the time of the Black Death in London. As a result, Louis Pastuer discovered that the source of the disease was the fleas, often found on rats. Therefore, the transmission of the Bubonic Plague was from fleas to humans. Source

There were three very serious outbreaks of the disease which led to the closure of all places of Elizabethan entertainment, including the Globe Theater. These occurred in 1593 , 1603 and 1608. The impact of closure must have been extremely frightening, not to mention the threat of the Black Death ( Bubonic Plague ) itself. There would have been no money coming into the theater companies and therefore no money for the Elizabethan actors. It would not have been certain when it would be safe for the theaters to re-open. And there would have been the constant fear of contacting the Black Death ( Bubonic Plague ) or seeing friends and family dying from the deadly disease. The Elizabethan era was truly a dangerous time.The spread of the disease continued. Source

The symptoms associated with the disease were, and are, painful swellings (bubos) of the lymph nodes. These swellings, symptoms of the deadly plague, would appear in the armpits, legs, neck, or groin. Victims also suffered a very high fever, delirium, the victim begins to vomit, muscular pains, bleeding in the lungs and mental disorientation. The illness also produced in the victim an intense desire to sleep, which, if yielded to, quickly proved fatal.It was no wonder that the Black Death or Bubonic Plague was so feared by the people of the Elizabethan era. Source

The whole issue of climate and plague is perplexing. Plague outbreaks during the Third Pandemic usually reflected the sensitivities of the rat and flea vectors. Outbreaks were rare during the Indian hot season, when the weather was very hot and dry, but common on either side of the hot season, when humidity increased and temperatures moderated—creating conditions favorable to X. cheopis. By contrast, the Black Death seemed to be largely immune to climatic effects. While outbreaks were slightly more common in warm weather, as Plague Deniers Scott and Duncan note, in some regions of Europe the mortality reached its peak in December and January. Indeed, Y. pestis killed almost as many people in frigid Greenland as it did in temperate Siena. Source

Narrator: The Plague is a disease caused by bacteria that infects the whole body. The bacteria multiply in the blood stream and lymph nodes. It travels to the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs and brain. The first day the victim is infected they usually have headaches and feel weak and tired. By the 3rd day they are staggering and their lymph nodes swell to the size of hen's eggs! Source

The nervous system begins to collapse and they experience severe pain in the movement of their arms and legs. As death draws near their mouths gape open and their skin is dark from internal bleeding. In 1330 the Plague in Europe killed 25 million people. If it weren't for scientist, Louis Pasteur, many more would have been killed when the Bubonic Plague broke out in China in the late 1800's. Let's see if you can come up with the same solution he did. The following cases will be clues to help you solve the mystery of the Black Death. Source

Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease in rodents transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas. Pneumonic plague, a more serious form of the disease, occurs when plague bacteria are inhaled after direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets. Source

Adopting the Russian view and describing the Black Death as an outbreak of marmot plague would help to explain many of the discrepancies that trouble the Plague Deniers. For example, marmot plague’s tropism for the lungs would account for the seemingly high incidence of pneumonic disease—even in warm climates, where the weather would not have favored its transmission. Moreover, marmot plague is the only form of rodent plague that is contagious; marmots spread the disease the way humans do, via a marmot version of the cough. Source

Usually, you get bubonic plague from the bite of an infected flea or rodent. In rare cases, Y. pestis bacteria, from a piece of contaminated clothing or other material used by a person with plague, enter the body through an opening in the skin. Source
Without treatment, about 50% of those with bubonic plague die. Almost all persons with pneumonic plague die if not treated. Treatment reduces the death rate to 5%. Source

The Black Death first reached England on the Dorset coast in August, 1348, through a sailor from Bristol who had been infected. He infected everyone whom he encountered, and the disease spread rapidly from place to place. Within months, all of England had been infected. Many people who were healthy in the morning were, by evening, incapable of doing normal tasks. Most people died by the fourth day of infection, and mass burials of up to one hundred people would occur every day at local churches. By 1349, between a quarter and a third of the population of England had died of this terrible epidemic. Source

The Black Death was named for the black spots that appeared on an infected victim's skin. The Black Death appeared in two forms, the bubonic plague and the pneumonic plague. The bubonic strain caused high fever and swelling of the lymph glands. The swollen glands often became abscessed. The pneumonic strain attacked the lungs, frequently causing hemorrhaging. It also caused vomiting of blood. Both varieties of bubonic plague caused very painful deaths. Source