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Science & Technology

Outbreak of the Black Death reported in China

November 21, 2019 | Comment icon 28 comments



The Black Death was typically spread by rats. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Chris Barber
A resurgence of the bubonic plague in China has been raising eyebrows this week, but just how dangerous is it?
One of the deadliest pandemics in history, the Black Death resulted in the deaths of up to 200 million people in Europe at its peak in the 14th Century, a figure equivalent to up to 60% of the population.

These days most people think of the Black Death as a historical malady - something that couldn't possibly happen now - but just this past Saturday, a hunter in China was diagnosed with the bubonic plague after catching and eating an infected wild rabbit.

A total of 28 people who had come into contact with him have since been quarantined.

On top of that, two other cases have also been reported in Beijing.
So is this the beginning of a major new outbreak or have advances in science and medicine sufficiently prepared us to deal with such a situation ?

"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," said Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda of Stanford Health Care. "We know how to prevent it - avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission."

"We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."

In addition to this, these days the Black Death is incredibly rare. There are typically only a few thousand cases each year and most of those occur in Africa, India and Peru.

In the United States, there are typically fewer than seven cases annually.

All things considered, the plague isn't something you should be losing any sleep over.

Source: Healthline | Comments (28)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
If it's in rural area, it's a lot easier to quarantine.. If a aggressive sickness†start spreading in a†big developed urban area, it will be really hard to contain. It will travel worldwide in an instant.†
Comment icon #20 Posted by mdbuilder 3 years ago
Plague shmague, I'm sure there's nothing to worry about...
Comment icon #21 Posted by Nnicolette 3 years ago
Are people aware that the black plague is still lingering around? I remembervsome years back when my mom had a forest service meeting about how many animals in CA were found with it. It is still a bit more prevalent than this article makes it sound. Maybe 7 people annually get it or so, but the amount of coyote, deer and such carrying it around is much higher. I was told is just isnt as big a risk anymore because we have more sanitary lifestyles, harder to get.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Nnicolette 3 years ago
Bubonic is black plague.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Desertrat56 3 years ago
You are probably too young to have ever seen this but there was a public service announcement radio and television commercials in the Southwest U.S. that went something like "Do NOT Play with a dead animal.† If you find a dead animal alert the authorities or your parents." Jay Leno became famous for making fun of that commercial, It was hilarious but it had a purpose because people were getting one of 3 different plagues in the south west and this was one of the ways they were getting, a kid finds a dead animal that is contagious and moves it or plays with it then brings the plague home to the... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by Desertrat56 3 years ago
**Deleted*** double post
Comment icon #25 Posted by DingoLingo 3 years ago
nothing major to be honest.. its still around.. but does not have the death rate of what it once had https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/plague † †
Comment icon #26 Posted by GlitterRose 3 years ago
DingoLingo if you look like that then I'm more afraid of you than this plague.
Comment icon #27 Posted by DingoLingo 3 years ago
yeah its not that great of a pic.. hard night on the booze with my son.. felt like the walking dead that day..
Comment icon #28 Posted by Eldorado 3 years ago
Victim number four. "China reports fourth plague case, as herder is diagnosed with bubonic strain of deadly disease" At the South China Morning post: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3039757/china-reports-fourth-plague-case-herder-diagnosed-bubonic-strain


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