Bubonic Plague (Lec 3)

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Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

Bubonic Plague (Lecture 3) Black Death - 1346 - 1352 oSecond pandemic of the Bubonic Plague • Caspian sea region o20 million people died in Western Europe (Mediterranean) o Known as the "Great Dying" • Florence, France was impacted greatly • Aka the Plague of Florence • 75 million people were affected • Between 1/3 - 2/3 of Europeans died oSporadic/infrequent episodes of plague occurred • Smaller episodes also occurred, yet were also significant o Believed that black rats were a major vector • Europe: travelled though using major trade routes o The main cities that were affected were close to water and major ports • Felt the fullest impact of the plague • Inland countries were impacted less and later on in time oBiological aspects of the bubonic plague • Was not known until the 19th century • 1989 - discovered that plague was linked to fleas or rats • Louis Simon linked parasites to fleas • Plague microbe -> yersinia pestis  Coined by Alexander Yersin oInfected rodent -> flea -> human oMost are bubonic oBubonic Plague • Lymph node swelling, usually appears 2-5 days later • Swell = bubo, plural: buboes • Infection = from bite of flea that fed on infected rodent • Bacteria spreads to lymph nodes  Causes swelling • Mortality rate = diverse Justinian Plague AD 541 • First pandemic of the bubonic plague • But it is considered a plague of antiquity because of the time period it occurred in • Great swelling/buboes (in the groin and armpit area) • enlarged lymph nodes • Highly contagious • Affected Europe, North America, the Middle East • AD 757 • Delirium /frantic restlessness • Coma • Most died within 5 days • 300 000 deaths • Reduced the population by 100 million • Arrived in 541 -> 747 • Bubonic plague • Recurred ever 3-4 years • 7th century • Constantinople -> Istanbul • AD 600 • 100 million died in Western Europe • Pneumonic plague • Infection of lungs • Death occurs in about 24 hours • Most serious form • Bacteria moves from bloodstream to lun
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