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  • Jesus Arambula

Return of the Black Death Plague?

In case you don't know it by now, the Black Death, also known as the Great Plague, was one of the biggest epidemics in history. This disease that took place in the 14th century killed over 50 million people in Europe. Back then, treating diseases was really difficult due to the lack of technology or expertise regarding the control of infectious diseases. However, as centuries pass, humans invent new ways to fight diseases easier than before. But just how deadly is this plague to us right now compared to the 14th century? This plague comes in three different forms. One of them is the bubonic plague which is marked with swollen lymph nodes around the body. Another is the septicemic plague which infects the blood and can kill skin tissue and turning it black. And pneumonic plague infects the lungs and can cause respiratory problems, chest pain, as well as shocks. Just recently in China two people were diagnosed with the Black Plague ,and not long ago a couple in Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague. People over the internet are freaking out, thinking that this will begin another annihilation of the human species. Are they exaggerating? Should we be worried? Believe it or not, there have been hundreds of cases regarding this disease, mainly in rural areas. Sergei Klebnivok from Forbes states,"In recent decades, an average of seven human plague cases in the U.S. have been reported each year, with the last deaths occurring in 2015…" The recurrence of this disease isn't that rare at all, so it's not like it's been the first time in centuries that we've encountered this malicious plague. Professor James Shepherd, professor of infectious diseases at the Yale School of Medicine states, "The risks of a global plague pandemic such as the 14th century Black Death are close to nil… [the plague] doesn’t have the capacity to rapidly spread from person to person." Given that the disease is spread through animals it would make sense that it would be more common in rural areas rather than in the city. However, the question remains: should we be worried of another mass extermination like that of the 14th century?

Ed Cara from Gizmodo shares, "In the past, pneumonic plague was always fatal within a day of symptoms arriving. But nowadays, antibiotics can treat all forms of the plague if it is caught early enough." As long as it is caught in its early stages of the disease it would be easily treatable, so it's nothing to be worried about. Some symptoms to look out for is for painfully swollen lymph nodes around your body as well as chills, fevers, or headaches. There are antibiotics that can treat the bubonic plague easily, while the pneumonic plague is almost always fatal. If you worry you might have the plague it would be best to contact your doctor as soon as possible. And don't worry, mass extinction by an infectious disease is far from our near future

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