Bubonic Plague Essay

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Raven Johnson Mr. Montgomery 3/14/12 Bubonic Plague The Bubonic Plague is a deadly infectious disease, which is caused by the bacterium Yesinia pestis. It is transmitted through the bite of a flea, and has killed millions of people. This plague is one of the most feared of all diseases (McNeill, W. H.). It is easily transmittable and has a high mortality. It can be cured through antibiotics (McNeill, W. H.). The plague is a disease of rodents. A human can be affected when bitten by an infected flea that has fed on an infected rodent. The bacteria inside the flea, sticks together to form a plug that blocks its stomach and causes it to begin to starve. The flea then bites a host and continues to feed, even though it is unable to satisfy its…show more content…
Untreated septicemia plague is universally fatal, but early treatment with antibiotics reduces the mortality rate to between 4 and 15 percent (Wagle 1948; Meyer 1950; Datt Gupta 1945). People who die from this from this form of plague often die on the same day symptoms first appear. The pneumonic plague infects the lungs, and with that infection comes the possibility of person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for pneumonic plague is usually between two and four days, but can be as little as a few hours (Kirby, R. 2005). The initial symptoms, of headache, weakness, and coughing with hemoptysis, are indistinguishable from other respiratory illnesses. Without diagnosis and treatment, the infection can be fatal in one to six days; mortality in untreated cases may be as high as 95 percent (Center for Disease Control). The earliest account describing a possible plague epidemic is found in I Samuel 5:6 of the Hebrew Bible. In this account, the Philistines of Ashdod were stricken with a plague for the crime of stealing the Ark of the Covenant from the Children of Israel. These events have been dated to approximately the second half
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