Later, it was also found in Yunnan, and in the latter half of nineteenth century, it was spread in Hong Kong and in Bombay, India also. There have been outbreaks of plague since, such as in China and Tanzania in 1983, Zaire in 1992, and India, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in 199415, 27. The Byzantine court historian, Procopius of Caesarea, in his work History of the Wars, described people with fever, delirium and buboes He wrote that the epidemic was one ‘by which the whole human race came near to be annihilated’. Plague continued to occur in small epidemics throughout the world but a major outbreak of the pneumonic plague occurred in Europe and England in 1665 to 1666. Ziegler17 states it derives from the translation of the Latin pestis atra or atra mors, ‘atra’ meaning ‘terrible’ or ‘dreadful’, the connotation of which was ‘black’, and ‘mors’ meaning ‘death’, and so ‘atra mors’ was translated as meaning ‘black death’. Food production was severely disrupted and an eight year famine followed. It then spread west to Alexandria and east to Gaza, Jerusalem and Antioch, then was carried on ships on the sea trading routes to both sides of the Mediterranean, arriving in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the autumn of 541.12, 13. In 1347 the plague was brought to the Crimea from Asia Minor by the Tartar armies of Khan Janibeg, who had laid siege to the town of Kaffa (now Feodosya in Ukraine), a Genoese trading town on the shores of the Black Sea. A plague vaccine is not currently available for use in the United States. Bubonic plague also has military significance and is listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category A bioterrorism agent.1. Much has changed to prevent the recurrence of pandemic plague, such as the development of the germ theory and the science of bacteriology, public health measures such as quarantine, and antibiotics such as streptomycin, but plague today is still an important and potentially serious threat to the health of people and animals. The third pandemic, that of 1894, originated in Yunnan, China, and spread to Hong Kong and India, then to the rest of the world.2, The causative organism, Yersinia pestis, was not discovered until the 1894 pandemic and was discovered in Hong Kong by a French Pastorien bacteriologist, Alexandre Yersin. Bubonic plague is a virulent disease with a significant mortality rate, transmitted primarily by the bite of the rat flea or through person-to-person when in its pneumonic form. In 1894 it had reached Canton and then spread to Hong Kong. It was manned by local peasants with checkpoints and quarantine stations to prevent infected people from crossing from eastern to western Europe.8, The leather costume of the plague doctors at Nijmegen, In the 15th and 16th centuries doctors wore a peculiar costume to protect themselves from the plague when they attended infected patients, first illustrated in a drawing by Paulus Furst in 1656 and later Jean-Jacques described a similar costume worn by the plague doctors at Nijmegen, an old Dutch town in Gelderland, in his 1721 work Treatise on the Plague. History Of Pneumonic Plague. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against infection. The villeins prospered and acquired land and property. [17] The Great Fire of London in 1666 and the subsequent rebuilding of timber and thatch houses with brick and tile disturbed the rats’ normal habitat and led to a reduction in their numbers, and may have been a contributing factor to the end of the epidemic.9. Illness onset is most often sudden, with chills, fever, body pains, headache, weakness, dizziness and chest discomfort. Yersinia pestis is a very pathogenic organism to both humans and animals and before antibiotics had a very high mortality rate. And the body showed no change from its previous colour, nor was it hot as might be expected when attacked by a fever, nor indeed did any inflammation set in, but the fever was of such a languid sort from its commencement and up till evening that neither to the sick themselves nor to a physician who touched them would it afford any suspicion of danger. It had spread to Bombay by 1896 and by 1900 had reached ports on every continent, carried by infected rats travelling the international trade routes on the new steamships.3,23 It was in Hong Kong in 1894 that Alexandre Yersin discovered the bacillus now known as Yersinia pestis, and in Karachi in 1898 that Paul-Louis Simond discovered the brown rat was the primary host and the rat flea the vector of the disease.3, 4, 24, 25, In 1900 the plague came to Australia where the first major outbreak occurred in Sydney, its epicentre at the Darling Harbour wharves, spreading to the city, Surry Hills, Glebe, Leichhardt, Redfern, and The Rocks, and causing 100 deaths. In the pandemics, the infected fleas were able to spread the plague over long distances as they were carried by rats and by humans travelling along trade routes at sea and overland, and also by infesting rice and wheat grain, clothing, and trade merchandise. From the two said parts of the body this deadly gavocciolo soon began to propagate and spread itself in all directions indifferently; after which the form of the malady began to change, black spots or livid making their appearance in many cases on the arm or the thigh or elsewhere,..“17. The sexton and the physician were cast into the same deep and wide grave; the testator and his heirs and executors were hurled from the same cart into the same hole together.”18, Transmission of the disease was thought to be by miasmas, disease carrying vapours emanating from corpses and putrescent matter or from the breath of an infected or sick person. Soon there was a shortage of doctors which led to a proliferation of quacks selling useless cures and amulets and other adornments that claimed to offer magical protection. In Madagascar in the mid-1990’s, a multi-drug resistant strain of the bacillus was identified15, 28. You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link. The epidemic was described by Samuel Pepys in his diaries in 1665 and by Daniel Defoe in 1722 in his A Journal of a Plague Year. The primary hosts of the fleas are the black urban rat and the brown sewer rat. In History  Thank you for your download, we hope you are satisfied with our software. Plague is an infectious disease that affects animals and humans. In 1346 it was known in the European seaports that a plague epidemic was present in the East. In this second pandemic, plague again caused great social and economic upheaval. Submit your article The epidemic was described by Samuel Pepys in his diaries in 1665 and by Daniel Defoe in 1722 in his A Journal of a Plague Year. The only remedies were inhalation of aromatic vapours from flowers and herbs such as rose, theriaca, aloe, thyme and camphor. To reduce the chance of death, antibiotics must be given within 24 hours of first symptoms. The plague continued in intermittent cycles in Europe into the mid-8th century and did not re-emerge as a major epidemic until the 14th century. The human flea, Pulex irritans, and the dog and cat fleas, Ctenocephalides canis and felis, were secondary vectors. There were 12 major outbreaks of plague in Australia from 1900 to 1925 with 1371 cases and 535 deaths, most cases occurring in Sydney.26, The third pandemic waxed and waned throughout the world for the next five decades and did not end until 1959, in that time plague had caused over 15 million deaths, the majority of which were in India. To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Tartars left Kaffa and carried the plague away with them spreading it further to Russia and India.17. Plague is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacillus Yersinia pestis and is still endemic in indigenous rodent populations of South and North America, Africa and Central Asia. … They had a sudden fever, some when just roused from sleep, others while walking about, and others while otherwise engaged, without any regard to what they were doing. boubon = ‘swelling in the groin’), this was bubonic plague. The agrarian system of the empire was restructured to eventually become the three field feudal system. Procopius wrote of the symptoms of the disease : “ … with the majority it came about that they were seized by the disease without becoming aware of what was coming either through a waking vision or a dream. 2 By John Frith Saving Lives, Protecting People, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Plague Q & A (naturally occurring disease), CDC Plague Home Page (naturally occurring disease), Publications, Education & Training Materials, Viral hemorrhagic fevers (filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg] and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo]), Case Definition: Caustic or Corrosive Agents, Case Definition: Arsine or Stibine Poisoning, Toxic Syndrome Description: Arsine or Stibine Poisoning, Case Definition: Vesicant (Mustards, Dimethyl Sulfate, and Lewisite), Toxic Syndrome Description: Vesicant/Blister Agent Poisoning, Case Definition: Opioids (Fentanyl, Etorphine, or Others) Poisoning, Potential Health Effects Associated with Hydrazine and Satellite Reentry, Facts about Hydrogen Fluoride (Hydrofluoric Acid), Long-acting anticoagulant (super warfarin), Case Definition: “Super Warfarin” Poisoning, Case Definition: Methyl Bromide Poisoning, Case Definition: Methyl Isocyanate Poisoning, Case Definition: Nerve Agents or Organophosphates, Toxic Syndrome Description: Nerve Agent and Organophosphate Pesticide Poisoning, Case Definition: Riot Control Agent Poisoning, Toxic Syndrome Description: Riot Control Agent Poisoning, Toxic Syndrome Description: Sodium Azide Poisoning, Case Definition: Sodium Monofluoroacetate Poisoning, Case Definition: Sulfuryl Fluoride Poisoning, Super warfarin (long-acting anticoagulant), Case Definition: Trichothecene Mycotoxin Poisoning, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.