The Plague Could Return, Warn ScientistsMain Category: Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses
Article Date: 16 Mar 2013
Scientists have warned that the "Black Death", one of the most devastating pandemics in human history that killed between 75 million and 200 million people, could one day return with the emergence of antibiotic-resistant forms of the bacterium.
Just yesterday, archaeologists found a grave from the "Black Death" in London that contained over 12 skeletons of people who died due to the plague. The victims are believed to have died during the 14th century and experts think they will find more graves as they continue to dig up the site.
The Plague is a recurring infectious disease that affects the lungs and is extremely contagious, causing outbreaks across great populations.
The issue of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases has become a serious public health concern. Just like centuries before, infectious diseases threaten us with the fear of death as well as impacted social behaviors and policy decisions at international, national and local levels.
According to history, population levels around the world dropped because of the plague - with close to 75 million people dying during the Black Death of the 14th century.
The current study, published in Infection, Genetics, and Evolution, examined the Great Plague of Marseille which killed 100,000 people between 1720 and 1723.
Findings revealed that a number of factors show that our population is currently still at risk of the plague. This is because of transport, trade and new threats in developing nations where many drug-resistant pathogens are beginning to show themselves and transmit quickly.
Bacteria have changed genetically in the way they infect their hosts so that they can survive in the blood of mammals.
The authors stress the need for the effective management of epidemics in the coming years. The anticipation of infection can have a negative impact on the economy - it can cause tourism to decline and widespread panic.
History has proven that giving the necessary information about diseases and improving the management of epidemics are crucial contributors on the road to preventing panic and controlling diseases.
Just last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved levaquin as treatment for the prevention of the plague. This medication was approved in preparation for possible bioterrorist attacks.
Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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