The Bubonic Plague, aka THE BLACK DEATH, was one of the most deadly diseases of all time. People of all ages, religions, and cultures were affected. The Bubonic plague first appeared in China in the 14th century. In the decades that followed tens of millions of people had fallen victims to the "Black Death." It is caused by the bacterium Yersina pestis , and it transfered to humans by infected fleas and rats. It began as an epidemic in the Gobi Desert, and spread quickly to China. The population of China was reduced by approximately 30%, which is about 90 million to 125 million people. The Black Death traveled to India, the Midle East and Europe. As a result, death and distruction followed. In one city, Cario, Egypt, which had approximately 500,000 people, and 7,000 died each day, at the height of the epidemic. By 1349, one third of the Mulim population was wiped out. In 1347, the Kipchacks, who were nomads from the Euro-Asia steppe, purposely infected Europe with the deadly disease by catapulting infected corpses into towns. It is belived that this is the cause on the outbreak in Europe. In its course, the Black Plague wiped out a greater proportion of the worlds population that any other epidemic or war known to history. The European society was changed dramatically by the disease. Between 1347 and 1351 ONE THIRDof Europes population was wiped out. Survivors lived in constant fear of the plauge's return; until the disease eventually disappeared in the early 1600's. There were several carriers of the disease including: fleas that were mainly parasitic to the Brown Rat, the rats themslves as they contaminated the water supply, and unsanitary living conditions. The disease was carried by a flea, Xenopsylla cheopis, which is parasitic on the brown rat. After the host, the rat, dies the flea looks to another host, this eventually became the human. The only people that the fleas had any immediate access to, were the ones who lived on the streets. These poor people eventually passed it onto the high class of society. It was easily contracted through sneezing and coughing. In a fatal case of the Bubonic Plague, the victim is dead within four days. The symptoms only appear on the second or third day. In a nonsevere case, after five das the temperature of the person infected will decrease, then, within two weeks, it will return to normal.
For more information on the Bubonic Plague...click on the following sites
Druginfonet, Black Plague