Black death map: THIS is where the plague is still a threat
The Black Death was once one of the most deadly diseases on the planet, as it tore through Europe during the middle ages, causing a range of unpleasant symptoms and decimating much of the continent’s population. Although the virus has seemingly faded from public consciousness, it remains alive, scattered in pockets throughout the globe.
Where is the Black Death now?
The Black Death, otherwise known as the Plague, Great Plague and the Pestilence, is a disease known scientifically as the bubonic plague.
The bubonic plague is one of three strains caused by a bacteria known as Yersinia pestis, which also causes septicemic and pneumonic plague.
The disease spread thanks to infected fleas, which travelled to Europe from the far east on the backs of rats, and spread further over the continent facilitated by dirty city streets and poor hygiene.
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The great plague lasted for an estimated four years and left deep scars over Europe.
Today, the virus has lost its effectiveness, thanks mainly to hygiene practices and modern medicine, but it still causes hundreds of cases and deaths per year.
Health officials have recorded black plague epidemics in Asia and South America, but most cases arise in Africa.
Bubonic plague is considered endemic in several areas on the continent, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, and Peru.
Cases of the disease materialise in Madagascar almost every year, during a period known as the “epidemic season”.
Health officials have reported around 20 to 30 cases of the plague during the season, which runs between October and March, since 1990.
The plague is also found in animals on every continent except Oceania.
The disease spreads either via contact with infected fleas or contact with bodily fluids of sick people.
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What are the symptoms of the Black Death?
According to the Centre for Disease Control, (CDC), people who contract the bubonic plague experience the following symptoms:
– One or more swollen lymph node (known as a bubo) which protrudes from the skin and can sometimes turn black
Bacteria from the infection can multiply and spread rapidly, and the bubonic plague has a fatality rate of 50 to 70 percent.
Thankfully for those who catch the disease, it is no longer a death sentence thanks to modern medicine.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states rapid diagnosis is vital for survival, as the disease can kill within 18 to 24 hours.
Officials confirm cases in the laboratory before treatment with samples of Yersinia Pestis from pus, blood or spit.
Treatment involves quick administration of antibiotics and supportive therapy if necessary.
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