According to the Oxford dictionary, a plague is a viral airborne disease that infects and kills a mass number of people at a very fast space. During the medieval times, plagues generally referred to a kind of fever that was caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. This was a result of unsanitary living conditions and poor environments which was usually infested by rodents or fleas. A bite from any of these creatures is guaranteed to give one the plaque. Going by that definition, there are still three different stages of the medieval plague existing today.
History of Plagues
The Bubonic plague was one of the earliest forms of viral diseases. When it first happened, human beings were so ill-equipped to deal with it that it wiped out more than half of Europe at that time. The plaque is contacted by a bite from an infected flea or rodent. This in itself, while very serious is not as deadly as what happens when it is left untreated. This bacteria would then spread into the lungs, which caused the Pneumonic plague. This is very deadly as it becomes transmissible from person to person. It becomes airborne and is expelled into the air when an infected person coughs. Any person that breaths in the air are likely to become infected.
When it is left untreated for some time it eventually spreads into the bloodstream causing the septicemic plague and it is terminal. But on some occasions when the bubonic plague is not treated it spreads directly to the bloodstream leading to the septicemic plague.
Ideally, the word plague was derived from the Latin word plaga which was in turn derived from the ancient Greek work plaga meaning to strike. In the current day, the same medieval times plague that almost wiped out all of Europe still exists and is spread when fleas or other insects feed on infected animals. When these insects bites a human being, the person will most likely contact the bubonic plague. Due to the advancements in medicine today, the plague rarely ever develops to the pneumonic plague as it is usually treated in the early stages. But if it were ever allowed to progress into that, we will most likely have another coronavirus-like epidemic on our hands.
The plague is generally accompanied by symptoms like headaches, fever, general body weakness, and painful muscles. These lead to swollen lymph glands and can be terminal within 24 hours. Although the cases of the plague are very rare, they sometimes occur in Africa. The last epidemic of the plague was from 1924. It lasted for one year and occurred in Los Angeles United States. Now there are extremely rare cases that sometimes occur in New Mexico and Arizona.
To reduce or terminate all risk of contracting the plague, eliminate all evidence of rodents (don’t let the movie Peter the rabbit fool you) and get rid of clusters of things around you. If you live in a place with a trace of the plague, limit exposure of pets to insects like fleas. And always keep a can of bug spray at the ready.
In the course of history and legend, plagues or black death were always things associated with Diablo(the devil). People used to believe that plagues were as a result of demonic activities. But now, thanks to science and civilization we know better.
Epidemics like Ebola and the current coronavirus are modern-day versions of the plague. Although the coronavirus is not as severe as the bubonic plague, what makes it scary is that there is no known cure for it yet. World-class scientists and doctors are working around the clock to provide us with a cure.
The coronavirus, like most plagues, is contacted via contact with an infected person. If the person coughs and expels the virus in the air, whoever breathes it in is most likely to contact it. It is however nowhere near as severe as the bubonic plague was. And thanks to modern-day medical care, efforts are been made worldwide to contain the spread of the virus and there is a low mortality rate compared to other modern-day plagues.
According to the WHO, to prevent or lower the contamination rate of the Coronavirus, wash hands regularly with hand sanitizers. Or alcohol-based hand sanitizers and keep a one-meter distance from anyone coughing. Seek medical attention when you start feeling sick and keep basic hygiene.