During the Dark Ages a plague swept through Asia and Europe killing millions of people, at the time it was unstoppable with a unique set of hosts. Its predominance was mainly due to the lack of knowledge about sanitation and knowledge about the plague’s common hosts. Later in the late 20th century an outbreak occurred in Africa that killed at an alarmingly rapid rate, wiping out whole villages. It was later discovered that it was cause by a mutated virus that infected animals and was able to jump species. This epidemic also became a major problem in the world for its time. The history of the Bubonic Plague has proven to be a convoluted one. It all started when an Italian merchant ship was returning from China where the plague was already omnipresent. When the ship landed at its location, the bacteria quickly spread sparking off the beginning of an epidemic.
The Bubonic Plague had two unique carriers; one being the common rat that used to be commonly found on trade ships, and the other being the fleas found on rats, which could jump from the rats to humans. Both of these carriers were widespread in ancient society (14th century). The epidemic spread all over Europe by these means of transportation but slowed down at Germany due to their good hygiene. We Can Write Custom Research Papers on Ebola Virus for You! The bubonic plague was given the name ‘bubonic’ because it caused swelling in the lymph glands, which are also called to buboes . It was later giving the nick name Black Plague or Black Death because it left black marks in the skin if the infected people. Laws, which did not allow garbage in the streets, nor animals to live in the same place as humans. After the epidemic died out in Europe it had recurrences in Asia where the standard of living was still low. The history of the Ebola virus is much more modern.
The first outbreak of Ebola was in Zaire (1976) with a kill rate of 88% and infecting 314 people. It was believed that the onset of the outbreak originated from a monkey that was carrying the virus and attacked a woodsman, transferring it to him. The virus’s main means of transportation is through contact with the already infected. Although large organizations like the Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) went to try and stop the spread of the virus it continued to infect large amounts of people. Infection occurred even with great public awareness and drastic quarantine techniques. Sudan the same year. It again was believed to originate from monkeys. Though this strain was much less potent with only a 55% kill rate , it proved to be unstoppable until the virus killed itself out. It reappeared in Sudan In 1979. Another strain of the virus was found in Virginia, Texas.
This strain was a highly infectious one, but was not able to fully jump species from monkey to human. The term “killed itself out” is used because the virus will kill all of its potential hosts in an area so it can no longer infect anyone or anything, literally ‘killing itself out’. The Black plague’s scientific background is not very complex. The strain was only changed once and minutely. The properties of the plague and its infectious habits did not change. The plague was commonly found in rats. Rats were often found aboard ships and especially trade ships due to their abundance of food. These rats had the bacterium in their blood. Fleas that commonly were found on the rats were the way that the bacterium would jump from the rat to the human. The flea would suck blood from the rat and ingest the bacterium that would then grow in their digestive system.
When their digestive system was full of bacteria it would then would then move its way up to the head of the flea and infect it’s blood sucking needle. When the flea moves from the rat to the human it would thus infect the human . The infection started with a egg size boil at the location that the flea would bite at. It would them move either to the blood stream causing death quickly or would move to the lungs giving the infected pneumonia like symptoms killing them within a week. Due to the time in Human history when the plague struck, human’s had no idea how to stop it or what caused it. In a modern setting any bacterium would be quickly identified and a antigen would be synthetically produced to help fight the infection. As well we would be able to fight the bacterium using medicines that were not around during the period that the plague struck Europe and Asia.