The Black Plague Resurfaces

Last week a man died of a pneumonic plague last week in Yumen City in China. This form is a direct strand of the Black Plague and over 150 citizens have been quarintined. They have also put the entire Yumen City on lockdown, hoping to eliminate any spreading of this deadly disease.

The Black Plague is dangerous – it took out a large portion of Europe in the 14th centuray and commonly referred to as The Black Death. It is so deadly that it can kill within one day. The disease reaches the lungs and then is spread to others with a simple cough.

Much to my surprise, the plague is still common in the tropics, however just not in humans. It has been detected from rodent to rodent within fleas. This is still highly contagious, but has less opportunities for outbreaks. It seems that such highly populated areas such as China become infected by serious illnesses on a more frequent basis. In 2003 there was an outbreak of bird flu. And apparently this isn’t the first time China has seen a form of the plague.

“This month’s plague occurrence isn’t the first time in recent history that China’s put in place quarantine measures to prevent a potential spread of the plague. In 2009, three men, including a herdsman, in the remote town of Ziketan in Qinghai province died of the plague, prompting authorities there to isolate 332 people for observation. The source of the outbreak in that case was also a marmot.”

It’s a terrifying feeling knowing that something so deadly can cause an epidemic at any moment if it is not carefully monitored. Millions of people travel in and out of the US on a regular basis. It makes you wonder…maybe souvenirs aren’t the only thing they’re bringing back.


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