Bubonic Plague still at it!

Bubonic Plague still at it!

James Morrissey

The Bubonic Plague in its hey-day formally known as the Black Death killed an estimated 50 million people across three continents in the 1300s. The medieval plague is still making headlines in 2019. On May 1st, a couple died in Mongolia hunting marmots. Marmots are large rodents that can harbor the bacterium that causes the disease, and eating the animal’s raw meat and kidneys. (Mongolians believe this is good for their health)

Modern medicine can eliminate the plague but if left untreated, the plague causes fever, vomiting, bleeding and open infected sores. It will kill a person within a few days. Yersinia pestis is the name of the bacteria causing the plague. It lives in infected animals, particularly rodents, and is usually spread by fleas.

The plague killed millions in China and Hong Kong in the late 1800s before scientists began associating the illness with rats and eliminating rodent populations.

The incident in Mongolia forced local panic. The government ordered a quarantine for six days in the region. Tourists and aircrafts were prevented from leaving the area. After no new cases appeared by Monday, the quarantine was lifted.

Globally there are about 650 documented cases a year, which result in over 120 deaths. As of today, the disease is most common in Africa, but at least one person dies each year in Mongolia.

We talked to senior Monica Ramos and asked her if she thinks the deadly plague will ever be eliminated. She stated, “We’re lucky to live in a world of modern medicine and information, I hope that one day we will eventually rid humanity of all harmful diseases.”