One minute read. Written by Areen Swarup – a grade 7 student
Are you intrigued about the term Black Death? Well, I was too when I first heard about it. The dark, gory reference is often used for Plague – the first disastrous wave of epidemics. In simpler terms, Plague is the infectious fever caused by a bacterium transmitted from rodents (rats) to humans by the bite of infected fleas. Does it not give off scary vibes, just like the novel disease – Coronavirus (Covid-19)?
So, what makes Plague so deadly?
Unfortunately, if left untreated, it can kill its victim in less than a week. This death trap took away the lives of hundred million people in Europe during the 14th century. In fact, it is said that Plague destroyed an entire civilization.
Just like any other normal flu, the symptoms included fever, weakness, a constant cough along with black spots on the skin. This is already giving me the goosebumps. Read on to know more…
Historians believed that this disease probably originated from China over 2000 years ago, in the mid 1300s. Later, it spread along the trade routes to the Mediterranean and northern Africa. Gradually, it spread its ugly wings in England and Scandinavia by the 1350s.
Is the Black Death still around? Indeed, the plague outbreaks still flare up around the world. About seven cases of plague are reported every year.
Some astonishing facts:
- There is no commercially available vaccine against it.
- Plague bacteria may be found in low levels in animals in the southwestern United States.
- Humans can develop this infection from handling fluids or tissues from infected animals.
- Pneumonic plague is contagious because infected people can spread the bacteria via airborne droplets.
How did it end?
The most popular theory of how plague ended was that all the people stayed inside their houses, quarantined and this disease couldn’t spread. Isn’t it eerily similar to the current times we are living in? With the recent Coronavirus outbreak, our government and health officials have issued an advisory suggesting we all stay indoors to be safe.
In fact, there are some more interesting similarities between the two deadly diseases.
- Both of them originated from China.
- If left untreated, it can prove fatal.
- Both are highly contagious. Ouch!
- There is no vaccine for these two as of now.
- To stop the disease from spreading, people must practice social distancing.
Let us all hope that like plague, Coronavirus gets completely wiped off from the face the earth!
Written by Areen Swarup
Areen is a grade 7 student of The Shriram Millennium School. She loves to read, draw and write articles