plague disease

And he was right. These typically appear in the groin, armpits, neck, or site of the insect bite or scratch. Since it is impossible to eliminate rodents from the wild, the disease will always be present, but its occurrence in humans can be controlled by limiting people’s exposure to infested animals. Check Your Pantry: Gold Medal Flour Recalled Over E.coli Fears, bloody sputum (saliva and mucus or pus from the lungs).

[2] In the bubonic form there is also swelling of lymph nodes, while in the septicemic form tissues may turn black and die, and in the pneumonic form shortness of breath, cough and chest pain may occur. The plague is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent care. If you live in an area where the plague is known to occur, the CDC recommends not allowing pets that roam freely outside to sleep in your bed. In medieval times, the plague was responsible for the deaths of millions of people in Europe. Plague was the cause of some of the most-devastating epidemics in history.

If you had infected family members, you had to carry a white pole when you went out in public. [19], A rapid diagnostic test that detects the F1 capsule antigen (F1RDT) has been developed. Homes stricken by plague were marked with a bale of hay strung to a pole outside. The Black Death, which hit Europe in 1347, claimed an astonishing 200 million lives in just four years. In septicemic plague the bloodstream is so invaded by Yersinia that, in untreated cases, death can ensue even before the bubonic or pneumonic forms have had time to appear. The flea then bites a host and continues to feed, even though it cannot quell its hunger, and consequently, the flea vomits blood tainted with the bacteria back into the bite wound. Active long-term surveillance of animal foci, coupled with a rapid response during animal outbreaks has successfully reduced numbers of human plague outbreaks. Today, most human cases of the plague occur in Africa though they do appear elsewhere. [2] It has historically occurred in large outbreaks, with the best known being the Black Death in the 14th century which resulted in greater than 50 million dead. Untreated, it can move into the blood (causing septicemic plague) or to the lungs (causing pneumonic plague). [27], During World War II, the Japanese Army developed weaponized plague, based on the breeding and release of large numbers of fleas. Experiments included various delivery methods, vacuum drying, sizing the bacterium, developing strains resistant to antibiotics, combining the bacterium with other diseases (such as diphtheria), and genetic engineering. Since then, all human plague cases in the U.S. have been sporadic cases acquired from wild rodents or their fleas or from direct contact with plague-infected animals. The Plague of Justinian arrived in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in 541 CE. Plague is one of the deadliest diseases in human history, second only to smallpox. Treatment is continued for several weeks after fever resolves. To check for pneumonic plague, fluid will be extracted from your airways by a tube that is inserted down your nose or mouth and down your throat. This is because the plague progresses rapidly, and being treated early can make a big difference in your recovery. The indigenous peoples of modern-day Mexico and the United States had zero natural immunity to smallpox and the virus cut them down by the tens of millions. Outbreaks are generally associated with infested rats and fleas in the home. Omissions? And with each new plague epidemic, 20 percent of the men, women and children living in the British capital were killed. The last epidemic of plague in the United States occurred in 1924 to 1925 in Los Angeles. Indeed, in the early 1340s, the disease had struck China, India, Persia, Syria and Egypt.

[21], Diagnosing plague early leads to a decrease in transmission or spread of the disease. Written by the Healthline Editorial Team, What to do if you think you might have the plague, 10 Immunity-Boosting Beverages to Drink When You’re Sick, Worst Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Recent U.S. History, Yes the Bubonic Plague Is Still Around, Why You Don’t Need to Worry. Patients have fever, chills, prostration, abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding into skin and other organs. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In rare cases, plague can cause meningitis, an inflammation of membranes that surround your spinal cord and brain. Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Once in the body, the bacteria can enter the lymphatic system, which drains interstitial fluid. Consequently, there is bleeding into the skin and other organs, which can cause red and/or black patchy rash and hemoptysis/hematemesis (coughing up/ vomiting of blood). Plague is a life-threatening disease. “There hasn’t been a kill off in human history to match what happened in the Americas—90 to 95 percent of the indigenous population wiped out over a century,” says Mockaitis. Bubonic plague is the best-known form in popular lore, and indeed it constitutes about three-fourths of plague cases. “That definitely had an effect,” says Mockaitis. Dr. Edward Jenner performing his first vaccination against smallpox on James Phipps, circa 1796. Today most human cases are sporadic, occurring in rural areas by infection from wild rodents such as ground squirrels, but in the past huge numbers of persons were infected by fleas from rodents. In the early- to mid-19th century, cholera tore through England, killing tens of thousands. In very rare circumstances, as in the septicemic plague, the disease can be transmitted by direct contact with infected tissue or exposure to the cough of another human. Cats and dogs were believed to carry the disease, so there was a wholesale massacre of hundreds of thousands of animals. The bubonic plague bacterium then infects a new person and the flea eventually dies from starvation. [28], Ishii innovated bombs containing live mice and fleas, with very small explosive loads, to deliver the weaponized microbes, overcoming the problem of the explosive killing the infected animal and insect by the use of a ceramic, rather than metal, casing for the warhead. During the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, Unit 731 deliberately infected Chinese, Korean and Manchurian civilians and prisoners of war with the plague bacterium.

A vaccine specific for plague has been used in the past in endemic areas for people likely to be exposed to rodents and their fleas. The disease can also develop as a complication of bubonic plague. [1] For those with pneumonic plague, symptoms may (or may not) include a cough, pain in the chest, and haemoptysis. [32][33][34], The plague can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Three of the deadliest pandemics in recorded history were caused by a single bacterium, Yersinia pestis, a fatal infection otherwise known as the plague. In the United States, reported cases average seven per year. It is transmitted between animals through fleas. Symptoms can include: Pneumonic plague symptoms may appear as quickly as one day after exposure to the bacteria. The initial signs are indistinguishable from several other respiratory illnesses; they include headache, weakness, and spitting or vomiting of blood. As an animal disease, plague is found in all continents, except Oceania. Check out our top seven tips for preventing the spread of flu in your house. Bubonic plague infects your lymphatic system (a part of the immune system), causing inflammation in your lymph nodes.

This is … Plague occurs in many countries outside Australia. Incorporate these foods into your diet…, From heart failure to depression, U.S. presidents have suffered from common health problems. The plague is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly. Once ingested by a flea, it multiplies until the insect’s digestive tract is blocked. Plague bacteria secrete several toxins, one of which is known to cause beta-adrenergic blockade. The physical signs are those of a severe pneumonia (fever, weakness, and shortness of breath). Scientists who worked in USSR bio-weapons programs have stated that the Soviet effort was formidable and that large stocks of weaponised plague bacteria were produced.

Septicemic plague can arise as a complication of bubonic plague or directly by infection from a flea bite. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Pets that roam freely outdoors may be more likely to come into contact with plague-infected fleas or animals.

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