The Bubonic Plague Pandemic and Its Impact on The World

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About this sample


Words: 2491 |

Pages: 5|

13 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2022

Words: 2491|Pages: 5|13 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2022

The bubonic plague was one of the worst and deadliest pandemics in human history, killing millions of people on three continents due to the agonizing, highly contagious disease. This occurred throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa (Dean, et al., 2018). Although the plague isn’t seen often in present day, it remains clinically essential to be prepared for the re-emergence of another pandemic and prevent it from spreading excessively. Medical professionals at the time were unprepared to handle such an unexpected epidemic of this magnitude. However, the Black death awakened medical developments that laid the foundations for modern medicine and a greater approach on countering a pandemic.

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When it comes to the transmission of the disease, it’s spread mainly by rodents and fleas. When they bite infected animals such as rats, the bugs then pick up the germs and they pass it to the next animal or individual they bite making your body swell. In other words, you catch the bubonic plague directly from animals or individuals who are infected. The other one is pneumonic plague, which results from inhalation of Yersinia pestis bacteria and forms into a disease and follows an aerosol attack with Y. pestis. Worst case scenario if left untreated and is spread to the lungs, pneumonia plague occurs. The last form of infection is septicemic plague which the bacteria multiplies in the blood and spreads to the whole body. But today we know that most cases are bubonic that is caused by rodent epizootic or bacterium spillovers of infected fleas caused by inhalation of infectious droplets.

There are many signs of symptoms of the plague depending which plague infection it is affiliated with. An individual who is infected with the bubonic plague would have sudden fever, chills, weakness, a headache, and have swollen areas on parts of their body called buboes which is a very painful bump that results from a swollen lymph node, that usually occurs in the armpit, neck, and groin. It is then followed by nausea and vomiting. When it comes to pneumonic plague, the symptoms you will experience are fever, cough, muscle aches, and a headache. Then proceeds to chest pain, difficulty breathing, and hemoptysis. It can also cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea. A person with septicemic plague can experience chills, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Not only that, but this infection can lead to coagulation and gangrene problems (John Hopkins, 2013).

According to the CDC, people that are infected with the plague should be isolated with safety measures and observe any symptoms during antibiotic treatment. Any person who has direct contact with the patients is also put into isolation and prophylactic antibiotics may be given. Antibiotic therapies are used such as tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, streptomycin, and ciprofloxacin to those who are infected with the plague (Boulanger et al., 2004). Patients indicating any symptoms of pneumonic infection, antibiotic treatment is initiated as soon as possible and continue taking it for further instructions. If any symptoms of the plague develop, antibiotic therapy is employed that can take up to 10 days. Unfortunately, there is no current vaccine for the plague, but research and development are on it to find a vaccine that can protect the people from this dangerous disease.

Today we have these advanced technologies that can identify viruses, develop valid tests for diseases, and more unlike in the 14th century. In unpredictable times, especially now that the world is facing the rapid spread of COVID-19, it may be unreasonable to conclude that the only way to avoid global epidemic is to reduce the movement, exchange of people and stop the globalization and the connection between different cultures and people. A world that is connected and globalized was simply mandatory back at the time due to trading of goods from across the globe. Although we live in a time of dramatic globalization, human movement, exchange, and interconnectedness, it didn’t appear out of the blue. In fact, people have always moved from one place to another and across long distances in exchanging goods, skills, and ideas all over the world. The outbreak of the Black Death and its spread along the Silk Roads would be a clear demonstration that the exchange and knowledge is one of the greatest protections against newly emerging challenges. Despite the fast pace of people and goods distributed around the world today, people are prepared to face the challenges that may emerge from these interactions, that will continue to play an important role in addressing and preventing the spread of diseases. However, diseases have also been transmitted on a large scale wherever the action of exchange takes place and brought positive and negative effects (Unesco, 2020). The Silk Road was a key component in spreading the Black Death due to the fact that infected rats were able to roam the Silk Roads hidden inside of caravans and ships, helping the bacteria to spread. The plague was initially spread by sailors, cargos, and rats that were being exchanged through the Silk Roads. The Black Death spread to humans along the Silk Roads in this way (Cassel, 2006). Another significant cause factor of the plague wasn’t just the Silk Road and the world becoming interconnected due to trading of commodities, but climate change. According to scientists in a 2015 study, major changes in the climate of the Central Asian steppes caused the rodent population to decline. As a result, it forced fleas carrying the plague to leave their rodent hosts and find new suitable locations to live.

In the 14th century, societies were very limited in their ability to treat and prevent the spread of plague as there was no precise knowledge of the exact cause of the disease or any treatments available. Without a doubt, fleeing remained one of the only effective preventative public health measures available to people at the time. The Black Death led Europe and other parts of the world to improve and develop public health measures. In fact, there are some methods that are still practiced to this day to prevent the spread of plague, such as remaining in isolation for 40 days before they are allowed to enter the city of Venice, and this created the term “quarantine” from this practice. The transmission of the Black Death, and the damage it did to societies in Asia and Europe, is an example of a major crisis that weakens businesses and interactions across the globe. However, the interactions in the Silk Roads have also brought enormous benefits and enhanced human life and culture. (Unesco, 2020). The plague impacted social and economic in a variety of ways. People left their friends and family, moved to other towns, and put themselves in isolation. Since many individuals did not understand the biology of the disease, many people believed that the Black Death was a divine punishment, a retribution for sins against God, and thus the only way to be forgiven was to survive the plague (Kiger, 2020). After the plague, the belief in religion diminished, due to the death of many individuals and the fact that a prayer couldn’t save the ill. In the economy, there was abrupt and extreme inflation. As the exchange of goods through trade became difficult and dangerous, the prices of goods and those imported from other places around the world skyrocketed. Workers also decreased significantly because of illness and death; peasants demanded that their wages be raised because of this devastating global epidemic.

When it comes to providing and taking the responsibility to ensure a good health outcome for patients. Health care providers should have the capability to effectively communicate with their patients in their skillset because it is a vital component in healthcare services and the most basic way to improve quality care. Having a clear communication expertise prevents patients from readmission and avoids frustration and anxiety as well as worsening disease due to poor follow through. Health professionals should help patients by setting clear guidelines and expectations (Craig, 2019). For example, the patient information and instruction about all the procedures both medical and administrative should be simple to understand. Furthermore, all necessary equipment must be in place and properly maintained since it is essential to the performance of the medical system and provide better results. Not only that but the use of proper equipment and the use of appropriate medications are also important in this scenario that every health worker must instinctively know as well. Every health care provider should also wear protective equipment like gowns, masks, gloves, etc. Most importantly, every health care provider should practice being culturally competent because it benefits the organization, patients, and the community. Culturally competent help raise better health outcomes, increased respect and mutual understanding from patients, as well as participation from other local communities according to Health Research & Educational Trust (Husson University, 2019). Without a doubt every person in the world has the right to health and this applies to and is recognized in international human rights law (Amnesty International, 2020). In other words, the government has an obligation to take all necessary steps for the prevention, treatment, and control of diseases. For instance, the government identifies, appoints, leads the pandemic preparation, first responder and implements policies necessary to protect the people. Moreover, the health sectors such as both the public and private health-care services play an important role in pandemic preparedness and response efforts. They provide information on the risk, the status of the condition, and progression of a pandemic (WHO, 2009). For example, during this COVID-19 pandemic the Center for Disease Control (CDC) informed the people that they must wear masks to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to other individuals as well as maintaining social distancing at all times about 6 feet apart and is officially a national law. The role of the CDC is to save lives and protect the people from health threats. In addition to that health sectors also make steps to reduce the spread of influenza in the community and in health-care facilities. (WHO, 2009). As a matter of fact, it is very important to protect and support health-care workers during a pandemic because they are going to be the ones that are going to be in the frontlines and provide medical support to countless of patients in the hospital. Above all, the government is instructed to take measures to prevent contagious diseases from spreading and invading from foreign countries into the US and between states and we call this “isolation and quarantine”.

As we all know a pandemic is a global disease outbreak. When a virus emerges out of a sudden people have little or no immunity at all, and a vaccine can’t be made right away, it takes a lot of time. The disease spreads person-to-person, causing a serious illness, and has the capability to wipe around the world in a small amount of time. It is difficult to predict when the next pandemic will occur or how severe it will be. And so, whenever, and wherever a pandemic starts, everyone around the world is at risk. Countries go through counter measures such as border closures and travel restrictions, mainly to delay the arrival of the virus. A pandemic could lead to high levels of illness, high death rates, social disruption, and economic loss. Everyday our lives would be hindered because there are so many people in many places becoming seriously ill at the same time just like the, COVID-19 pandemic. Negative impacts can range from school and business closures and switching to distance learning and the decline of jobs to the interruption of basic services such as public transportation and food deliveries. Health protections such as the social distancing and quarantine are employed for this contagious disease and must be followed to avoid further infections.

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Currently, plague cases are still around in areas around the world, including in the United States or China, where the Inner Mongolia region has recently reported a suspected case. Overall, the plague changed the health regulation in Europe in a way that the society adopted stricter sanitation efforts for every municipality. There were new approaches to hygienic standards and local governments took more rigorous control of street cleaning, disposal of dead bodies, and water maintenance. Cities began to employ the rightful approach to epidemic disease, which emphasized preventive actions including improved ventilation, drainage of stagnant water, street cleaning, burial of bodies, clean water, and the burial of garbage (Birn, 2018). But the illness is no longer as deadly as it used to be since it can be treated with antibiotics. What caused plague outbreaks has remained mysterious for hundreds of years and had many misconceptions. Eventually, advances in knowledge of medicine and technology helped reveal the biology of the disease.


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The Bubonic Plague Pandemic And Its Impact On The World. (2022, April 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
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