A plaque is an acute infection that is transmitted to rats and other rodents. And since rats had accompanied human settlements since written history, the plaque are later transmitted to man. The plaque is caused by a micro organism called “Bacillus pestis”. It is being transmitted by fleas that lived as parasites to various types of rodents and then being transmitted to humans when they bite them.
The first symptoms of a plaque are like having a flu wherein the victim may suffer from fever, chills and swollen nodes in the groin. As the disease progresses, spots will appear on theskin which will eventually kill a person if not well treated. In the middle ages, the plaque get its name as the “Black Death” because of the dark-colored spots that appears on the skin and simply because of the lack of proper medical treatment to the patients which eventually dies. Later on, the Black Death was given another name which is called the “Bubonic Plaque”. The name given to the plaque was derived to the following reason; the swelling of the nodes in the groin has been called a “bubo”, which is derived from the Greek word “boubon”, which literary translated as a “groin”.
There are other types of disease outbreaks which are sometimes called a plaque; but the bubonic plaque is a definite disease that can be called as a plaque.
One of the greatest and deadliest outbreaks of the plaque in the history of humankind was the Black Death that occurred during the fourteenth century. This deadly plaqueoriginated in Central Asia and then reached the shores of the Black Sea. And because there are many ports in the Black Sea, the plaque was immediately scattered to the rest of Europe through many European ports. And within five years, the plaque had already spread into the whole continent of Europe.
When the plaque first appeared into major human settlements such as cities, the first reaction of the people was usually to panic and everyone would try to leave the region. But not everyone could afford to leave, and all kinds of steps were taken to prevent the further spreading of the disease. Those that already affected by the disease were isolated in the homes and therefore not allowed to leave. Relatives and friends were not permitted to visit them and food was provided by special messengers. And when the patient dies, everything he owns and possesses is burned. The bubonic plaque not only hit Europe once but twice. It returned in this continent in the seventeenth century wherein almost one third of its whole population perished.
And today, there are various kinds of preventive measures that are undertaken by health officials as well as every government to stop possible rise of a plaque outbreak. And one of these is the control of its main carriers – the rats.