The black death is most commonly mentioned in history textbooks. The plague sounds like a relic of the past. A horrible disease that sounds similar to ancient civilizations and their raging wars. Things that we can’t imagine happening today. The black death seems like just that. Something out of a history book that doesn’t relate to anything today. Unfortunately the idea that the black death was only something of the past is wrong. Although the epidemic of the plague is long over, there are still traces of the disease found round the world.
The black death, also known as the bubonic plague, was first brought to Europe in October of 1347 from 12 Genoese trading ships that docked at the Sicilian port of Messina. (from the article “Black Death” – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com) When the ships arrived, the citizens were horrified by the fact that most of the sailors aboard were dead. Throughout their long journey through the Black Sea, the ships had become infected with the plague. The sailors not only had high fevers and delirious pain, but also large black boils on their skin. The revolting boils that were filled with blood or pus were what earned the disease the name “black death.” Even though the ships were ordered to leave the port, the disease had infected the city. This led to the huge epidemic of the plague. Over the next five years the Black Death killed over a third of Europe’s population-more than 20 million people. There was no medicine at that time that could compete with the disease. After the plague slowed down its destruction of Europe, it disappeared from the history books. People assumed it was gone.
However, as CDC (4 deaths, 15 cases of bubonic plague in U.S. this year | CBS 4) reported, “ATLANTA (Oct. 22, 2015) — Fifteen people have been infected with bubonic plague so far this year in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN. Four of those cases were fatal.” The article goes on to explain that the plague was seen in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Utah, Georgia, and Michigan. A Colorado resident was diagnosed with the plague in 2015 and passed away. USA Today showsthis as where the boy was infected. The plague is carried through fleas and rats, and the boy in Colorado was said to have contracted the disease from dead rodents. The disease can be treated if caught in time, but without getting medical attention soon enough, the plague is very deadly. The symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever and chills, within a two-six day period. USA Today states:
“Health experts advise individuals to avoid dead animals, to treat clothing with insect repellent when hiking, to prevent pets from roaming and to avoid sharing a bed with pets.”
It is very important for any Minnesotan planning on camping are being in the states that have been infected in the past to be aware of these safety precautions to prevent the infamous Black Death plague from infecting anyone.