What conditions are likely to lead to an outbreak of the plague?
Plague outbreaks are most common in rural and semirural areas that are overcrowded, have poor sanitation and have a high rodent population. The greatest number of human plague infections occur in Africa, especially the African island of Madagascar.
What disease does Yersinia pestis cause?
Plague is a disease that affects humans and other mammals. It is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected with plague.
Who is most affected by Yersinia pestis?
Plague has occurred in people of all ages (infants up to age 96), though 50% of cases occur in people ages 12–45. Worldwide, between 1,000 and 2,000 cases each year are reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), though the true number is likely much higher.
What spreads the Black plague?
Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. During plague epizootics, many rodents die, causing hungry fleas to seek other sources of blood. People and animals that visit places where rodents have recently died from plague are at risk of being infected from flea bites.
How did the black plague spread so quickly?
The Black Death was an epidemic which ravaged Europe between 1347 and 1400. It was a disease spread through contact with animals (zoonosis), basically through fleas and other rat parasites (at that time, rats often coexisted with humans, thus allowing the disease to spread so quickly).
Is the Black Death Ebola?
But new research in England suggests the killer was actually an Ebola-like virus transmitted directly from person to person. The Black Death killed some 25 million Europeans in a devastating outbreak between 1347 and 1352, and then reappeared periodically for more than 300 years.