China has announced that bubonic plague, known as the Black Death, has been reported in Yinchuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China. What do you know about this disease?
Bubonic plague was once the most feared disease in the world, but now it is easily treatable.
The bubonic plague, caused by a bacterial infection, caused one of the deadliest epidemics in human history, the Black Death, which claimed the lives of nearly 50 million people in Africa, Asia and Europe in the 14th century.
The plague killed almost a fifth of London’s population during the “Great Plague” of 1665, while more than 12 million people died in outbreaks in China and India in the nineteenth century.
Since then, there have been several major outbreaks of the epidemic.
Plague is a contagious disease that can lead to death, and the infection is caused by the bacterium Yersinia, which lives in some animals, especially rodents and fleas.
Bubonic plague is the most common type of disease that can infect humans, and its name comes from the symptoms it causes, such as painful swollen lymph nodes or a “blister” in the groin or armpit.
Plague symptoms include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin, and the person feels unwell two to six days after infection.
Plague can also affect the lungs, causing coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. The bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and cause what is known as “septicemia” or “sepsis,” which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.
The body of an infected person who has died from the plague can also transmit the disease to people who have been in close contact with it, such as those preparing the body for burial.
But these days, the disease can be treated with antibiotics, and if left untreated, the disease, which is usually transmitted from animal to person via fleas, can lead to death in 30-60% of infected cases.
Cases of bubonic plague are now rare, but there are still cases of the disease spreading from time to time, as Madagascar witnessed over 300 cases during the outbreak in 2017, but a study by the medical journal The Lancet at the time found, that the death toll was less than 30.
In May 2019, two people died in Mongolia after eating raw marmot meat, but it is unlikely that any of the new cases will lead to the spread of the epidemic.
It is worth noting that in the period from 2010 to 2015, 3248 cases of infection were registered worldwide, as well as 584 deaths.
Source: Agencies + media