The Bubonic Plague During The Middle Ages

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According to the CDC, the (bubonic) “plague is a disease that affects humans and other mammals and is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis” (, 2015). Humans are infected by the plague once bitten by a flea or rats that carry the disease or by handling an animal infected with the plague. “Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague”, however without treatment, this disease can cause people to become severely sick even leading to death. Currently, human plague infections carry on in the western United States, but mostly in parts of Africa and Asia (, 2015). The most devastation caused by this plague was done during the Middle Ages.
Signs and symptoms emerges two and seven days after a person obtains the infection.
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People began to run from their loved ones, mothers & fathers did not want to take care of their sick children. Businesses began to close, some fled to other cities, and priest no longer wished to provide the dying their last rites for fear of catching the disease. According to, the citizens did not understand the origin of this disease. Many escaped to Eastern Europe for safety from the cruel crowds. A group of flagellants arose, who thought they would make atonement for the sins of the public by beating themselves with whips and begging for God’s mercy. They viewed the plague as God’s way of punishing certain sins such as greed, blasphemy, fornication, heresy, and worldliness. They believed the only way to rid themselves of the plague was to seek forgiveness from God. Massacres of many Jews took place in 1348 and 1349 as a means to cleanse the town of heretics or evil doers.
The Bubonic Plague claimed the lives of approximately 25 million humans that account for 40 percent of the European population. When winter arrived this slowed the movement of the disease, since cold weather affected the fleas. Around 1894, the first breakthrough was noted in Hong Kong and officially ended in 1959. (Society, 2015) As noted in a article Black plague had run its course. However, the disease resurfaced every few generations for centuries (Plague, 2015).
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The last serious outbreak was in 2006 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, during that outbreak 50 deaths were reported. In 2014 there has been reported cases according to World Health Organization. These outbreaks took place in Madagascar and affected over 100 patients and caused 40 deaths (, 2015). Thanks to technology and medical research in today’s society, we are now able to fight the disease with the right medicines (antibiotics), if the plague is caught in a reasonable time

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