Plague : a case history

Plague : a case history
One can hardly imagine anything more terrible than destroying entire cities plague.Our ancestors feared the disease more than of war, identifying it with death.

Plague: the causative agent of the disease and the symptoms of disease provokes

Yersinia pestis (Latin Yersinia pestis.), Opened in 1894, regardless of the French scientist A. Yersenom (1863-1943) and a Japanese scientist S. Kitazato (1852-1931).

Plague manifests itself in a serious general condition, fever, lymph nodes, lungs and other internal organs.The disease is highly contagious, belongs to the group of quarantine infections, has a high mortality rate.

The incubation period lasts from several hours to 3-6 days.Appears chills, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, the temperature rises sharply to 39ºS.The disease is accompanied by delusions, confusion, incoordination.

There are several forms of plague: bubonic, pneumonic, septic and lightweight (small tent).

  • When bubonic plague increased, inflamed and filled with pus glan
    ds (called buboes).May increase the liver and spleen.Without treatment, death occurs 3-5 day, mortality exceeds 60%.A transition of this form of secondary pulmonary or secondary septicemic form.
  • Pneumonic plague affects the lungs.Among its distinguishing symptoms include cough, hemoptysis.Also there is a fever, headache, rapid heartbeat and breathing.
  • Septic plague form occurs with hemorrhages in the skin, bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, tachycardia, decreased blood pressure.Death occurs within a maximum of the day, sometimes until the symptoms of bubonic or pneumonic plague.
  • Light (small) form of plague can occur in areas endemic for plague.These include: Vietnam, Burma, Bolivia, Ecuador, Turkmenistan and others, in Russia - Caspian Lowland, East Ural region, Stavropol region, Baikal, Altai and some other regions..Its symptoms - swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever.they usually disappear within a week.

Natural sources of Yersinia pestis - rodents (rats, mice, rabbits, gophers, marmots, squirrels), as well as wild dogs, cats and camels.They contract the disease through their own or bites from fleas, are its carriers.

Yersinia pestis
Photo: shutterstock.com

Another way of transmission - contact, and airborne (from a sick person).

plague microbe is not afraid of low temperatures and freezing, in the corpses of animals can be kept up to 60 days, however, when using disinfectants and by boiling it perishes.

«Black Death»

known plague pandemic in history:

  • «Justinian plague" in the Eastern Roman Empire (. 551-580 years), killing more than 100 million people;
  • pandemic XIV century.- "Black Death" (1346-1352 years, 25 million - one-third of Europe's population.);
  • plague in London (1664-1665 gg -. 20% of the population), Marseille and some towns of Provence (1720-1722 -.. 100 thousand) and Moscow (1771-1772 gg -. About 57 thousand people.);
  • at the end of the XIX century.Asia's third pandemic began (over 12 million);
  • in the twentieth century.epidemic in India (more than 12.5 thousand. victims).

Such a high mortality rate in the Middle Ages due to lack of proper treatment (cutting and burning plague buboes) and non-compliance of quarantine measures.There are also data on the use of the material infected with the plague as a biological weapon.

plague today

Currently, around 2.5 thousand per year are recorded in the world. Ill.. About 7% -

According to WHO, about 40 thousand cases in 24 countries, mortality was recorded from 1989 to 2004.In Russia in 1979 there were no cases of the disease, but in the territory of the natural foci of infection risk is present for more than 20 thousand. Man.The situation is compounded annual detection of cases in neighboring countries (Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and China).

plague treated with antibiotics (for the first time succeeded in 1947 with the help of streptomycin, developed by the Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene of the Red Army), sulfonamides and anti-plague serum.Sick and exposed him isolate people (especially for the pneumonic form).

To prevent use of rodent control and the establishment of anti-plague facilities in endemic areas.There is also a vaccine that reduces the severity of the disease that does not protect 100%.

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