The Plague

Madison Gutekunst

The plague or otherwise known as black death is a life threatening disease. We now have antibiotics to help those infected, but back in the 1500s home remedies and fake doctors were all you had to survive. If you got the wrong medicine from these fake doctors you chance of survival was slim. “Hodge believed that these ‘wicked impostors’ supplied medicines that were ‘more fatal than the plague’…” (47). My information I have gathered comes from two sources. My first source is the book The Great Plague by Stephen Porter. Porter also includes information of other sources I use as well. My second sources is a news article I found on The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Porter’s book talks about the plague in the early 1400s around the 1800s, whereas the CDC talks about the cases of the Plague found in 2015. Both sources talk about the death rates of the plague and how it affects those infected. According to the CDC the mortality rates has decreased dramatically due to antibiotics. “The mortality rate for untreated plague has ranged from 66% to 93%; however, in the antibiotic era, mortality has been reduced to approximately 16%” (CDC).  In my source The Great Plague there is a chart(1) that shows the death rates of Colchester for each month. What’s interesting to a contemporary Minnesotan is that in the winter months the death rates are very low.  “Yet the figures for Colchester show that at the end of February and into march the death toll rose once more. By march almost one in eight houses in the town stood empty because of the deaths departures” (89). This is due to the host of the plague which is usually a flea dying, and people going out more covered up because of the cold weather, and if you live in Minnesota you know that it’s only warm maybe 4 months out of the year. Meaning that our chances of catching the plague is small. Which is why in 2015 the Plague cases were found in “Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oregon”, there were come cases in colder states, but more warm states than cold. The only issues that come to my attention is when I read the symptoms on CDC article. The symptoms include “In humans, plague is characterized by the sudden onset of fever and malaise, which can be accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting”(CDC) which are so close to flu symptoms you might not know you have the Plague until it’s progressed. If the Plague has progressed before you got into see a doctor you chances of survival would dramatically decrease.

1screenshot-2016-11-26-at-7-51-45-pm

Bibliography-  Porter, S. The Great Plague. Stroud: Sutton, 1999. Print.

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