The Bubonic Plague is a bacterial disease which is commonly called the plague, it is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Other common names for the bubonic plague include, plague, pneumonic plague, and Black Death. The Bubonic Plague refers to the infection that enters through the skin and travels through the lymphatetics, commonly caused by flea-borne infections. Without treatment the Bubonic Plague will kill about 50% of infected patients in 4-7 days. The bubonic plague is believed to have caused the Black Death which killed at least one third of Europe’s population.
The bubonic plague is an infection of the lymphatic system, usually resulting from the bite of an infected flea. The fleas are commonly found on rodents, such as rats. Once the fleas host dies they seek out other prey, including humans. Once established in the host, bacteria rapidly multiplies in the lymph nodes. Yersinia pestis can resist phagocytosis and even reproduce inside phagocytes and kill them. As the disease progresses, the lymph nodes can hemorrhage and become necrotic. Bubonic plague can develop to lethal septicemic plague in several cases. The plague is also acknowledged to extend to the lungs and become the sickness known as the pneumonic plague.
The Bubonic Plague can be recognized by its obvious symptoms, the most common being swollen lymph glands called buboes. These sores are commonly found in armpits, groins, and the neck. Other symptoms include spots that are red at first and then turn black, heavy breathing, continuous blood vomiting, aching limbs and terrible pain. The pain is caused by the actual decaying of the skin, the skin will actually decompose while the infected person is still alive.
The Bubonic plague is incredibly deadlu, it has claimed nearly 200 million lives. The first recorded epidemic ravaged the Byzantine empire during the sixth century. The most infamous incident was called the Black Death which killed at least a third of the population of Europe. The plague has resurfaced around every 100 years, ravaging London from 1665-1666. The plague resurfaced in the 18th century in central Asia.
In modern times the plague can be cured with a simple round of antibiotics, but in ancient times this disease was incredibly deadly.