Black Death in current times

In June of 2016, a 16-year old boy in New Mexico was found infected with the Plague. While it is the first case of the year, it’s been relevant in New Mexico for the past few years. Animals in several New Mexican counties tested positive for the disease; 4 people in 2015 were infected, and one of which died. The source states that infected fleas transmit the disease from themselves to other fauna, such as deer. The rate at which the disease crosses biological borders is extremely low, and doing it twice to infect a human is nigh impossible.

In medieval times, the black death was treated in a plethora of ways. Many of these treatments were less than effective, such as; being bathed in vinegar and rose water, mixing egg shells with ale and drinking, or believing a witch will cure you of infection. Of course, at this point, we know none of those work. Some ideas they had were relatively useful and preventing the disease from spreading. The day that Europeans stopped leaving their feces and bodies in the streets, was the first step at containing the disease.

At our current time, the bubonic plague can be cured by a simple series of antibiotics, such as¬†streptomycin. If we can cure it so easily and effectively, why have there still be deaths from this century-old disease? It is important to understand that just because we gave the ability to treat these diseases easily, doesn’t mean we can throw caution to the wind. As Minnesotans, we still need to be careful. Our animals could be infected with the bubonic plague.


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