Disease: Then And Now

Everyone at one point in their lives has heard of the infamous bubonic plague, or better known as The Black Death. The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague, was one of the worst diseases of all time beginning in 1347 and ending in 1352. During this time period, this widespread disease killed an estimated 25 million people or 1/3rd of Europe’s population (www.themiddleages.net/plague).  It spread through flea bitten black rats who would hide on ships. The ships would then travel around the world spreading various goods, spices and disease. In todays time, people don’t worry about something like the black plague -it happened hundreds of years ago- right? Well, it did but that doesn’t mean anything. In fact people still get this disease today. And it is now possible to be cured of it with modern day antibiotics, if you see signs and make quick, smart decisions. In recent years, the Centers for Disease Control confirms the major diseases people should worry about today are: H1N1, Avian Flu, Ebola and Zika. These recent disease outbreaks are major concerns as they can easily be spread from person to person. The Zika virus though is spread through mosquitos (https://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/index.html).  Even though there have been no cases of Zika virus in the state of Minnesota, it worries many in our area. And it’s understandable, as the mosquito (our state insect) carries the virus. Mosquito’s lay their eggs in or near water (Minnesota has 10,000 + lakes). Minnesota would seem to be the prime place to find the disease, but fortunately for us the cold weather has kept this from happening.

Historical primary source: The Middle Ages

Contemporary source: CDC Zika transmission

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