Plague is alive and well in the US and around the globe

When most of us think of the plague, we think of the Black Death and the millions who died in Europe in the Middle ages. Few realize that the plague is endemic in the southwestern United States and has been around since epidemics of plague hit California in early 1900.

The plague has hit the news lately. A camping in Yosemite National Park was closed and shaken flea insecticide after a child who is now recovering, contracted the plague. The fever was confirmed on two ground squirrels gold-covered dead, and confirmed in fleas combed squirrels captured.

What is plague?

Plague is caused by a bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It is spread by fleas that infest typically rats and other rodents.

According to the CDC, there have been three pandemics: The Plague of Justinian, the “Black Death” or the Great Plague and the modern plague. (A pandemic is defined as an epidemic that has spread over a large area. – A global outbreak or one that has reached several countries)

The Plague of Justinian, which began in 541 AD, killed more than 25 million people over the next 200 years.

The Great Plague of the Black Death began in China in 1334, spreading through the trade routes in Europe, where he finished with an estimated 60% of the population. In total, 75-200 million deaths in Eurasia pandemic that lasted a few years, from 1346 to 1353.

were attributed the third pandemic, the modern plague, they accounted for 10 million over a period of 20 years from 1894. This outbreak also began in China and spread to the port cities around the world (including the US) through rats globetrotting boat.

Although there has been no plague pandemics from the 1900s, continued outbreaks of epidemics in India in the first half of the century and epidemics in Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s

currently, 95% of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. But the plague is endemic in the United States Southwestern United States -. Which means that is a constant presence in nature

Forms pest

The infection of the bacterium Yersinia pestis can take many forms, but the most common forms are bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

Bubonic plague is the name of the buboes (swellings pain and lumps) that form in the lymph nodes. This form of plague usually starts from a flea bite. Bacteria multiply in the nearest lymph node. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, weakness, and swelling in one or more lymph nodes.

septicemic plague refers to a systemic infection of the circulatory system. The initial infection may begin as septicemic or may occur as a result of untreated bubonic plague. Symptoms include the bubonic plague, with shock, abdominal pain and bleeding into the skin or other organs. Tissue and skin can become black and die, especially in the fingers, toes and nose.

Pneumonic plague occurs when infection is concentrated in the lungs. The infection is spread through inhalation of infectious droplets (coughing or sneezing of infected person) or may be secondary to bubonic or septicemic plague untreated. It presents with fever, headache, and weakness as in other forms, but also includes a rapid onset of pneumonia. Pneumonic plague is the only type of plague can be transmitted from person to person.

Current statistics on Plague

The World Health Organization receives between 1,000 and 2,000 reports of plague every year. Most of the cases are from small towns and villages and agricultural areas in Africa.

Most human cases of plague in the United States occur in two regions:

  1. northern New Mexico, northern Arizona and southern Colorado .
  2. California, southern Oregon, and the western tip of Nevada.

There have been cases in other states, but it is endemic in these regions, which are distributed among the population of rodents and spread to other wildlife. In recent decades, the average Unites States 7 human cases per year. Eighty percent of cases are bubonic plague.


Undoubtedly the best defense against the plague, Lyme disease, Powassan, spotted fever Rocky Mountains, West Nile, or any other disease carried by ticks , blood-sucking mosquitoes and fleas is the reasonable prevention, sure. When working or playing in the woods or in populated areas, wear long sleeves and long pants. Tuck pants into your socks least. Cover your hair or wear a hat. And sprinkle the clothes and skin not covered with insect repellent.

Consumer Reports tested 15 insect repellents, in May 2015 and found that two natural repellents (if essential ingredient concentration is high enough) worked better than DEET. One contained picaridin (a concentration of 20% from the black pepper plant); On the other contained lemon eucalyptus (a concentration of 30% of eucalyptus trees gum).

There are many essential oils that repel insects. For more information, check out Powassan virus, a deadly disease Tick for a recipe to make your own insect repellent. But remember, essential oils are medicinal. Do your research and use responsibly.

spray insect repellent on clothing and exposed skin. To put repellent on your face, spray your hands and rub or pat on your face. Given to children to control the spray and do not put any in your hands so you do not eat or rubbed in his eyes. Wash your hands after application.

After entering, wash clothing sprayed in a separate laundry and bathing or showering. Also, take the opportunity to check thoroughly for ticks.

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