During the mid-1300s, the bubonic plague was a deadly and devastating epidemic that affected Europe and Asia. The plague arrived in Europe and Asia from 12 ships that had docked at a port in Sicilian, according to History.
When the ships arrived, most of the crew were already dead, which earned the fleet of ships the name of “death ships.” But this was only the beginning of all the death that the bubonic plague would bring. Within the next five years of reaching Italy, the bubonic plague would kill over 20 million people just in Europe alone.
Eventually, the invention of quarantine would help control the spread of the black death, according to History. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the bubonic plague has disappeared completely.
Does the bubonic plague still exist?
Yes, the bubonic plague does still exist today, however, it’s not nearly as deadly today as it was in the mid-1300s. Today, there are treatments in place to treat and cure the bubonic plague, according to Healthline.
“Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted,” Dr. Shanti Kappagoda, a physician of infectious disease at Stanford Health Care, told Healthline. “We know how to prevent it – avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where this is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick.”
Can the bubonic plague be cured today?
Yes, the antibiotics that we have today can help to cure someone who catches the bubonic plague.
In most cases, current antibiotics can be used to cure the disease. The CDC has even said the mortality rate of the bubonic plague is at 11%. In the best case, antibiotics should be administered as soon as possible within the first 24 hours of coming down with the bubonic plague.
If a patient has a severe case of bubonic plague, they will usually be given oxygen in addition to intravenous fluids and support for breathing.
“It is critically important to be treated early as a delay in receiving antibiotics increases the risk of dying,” Kappagoda told Healthline.
Antibiotics aren’t just used on those who catch the plague. They can also be used as a preventative method for anyone who has been exposed to the plague or comes in contact with an animal that is carrying the bubonic plague.
The bottom line is that while the plague does still exist today, as long as a patient is treated accordingly, they can be cured. The bubonic plague might have been a deadly disease in the mid-1300s, but today it is rare and hard to come by.
Passport Health offers a variety of vaccination and physical services to help you stay safe and healthy at home and abroad. Call 937-306-7541 or book online to schedule your appointment today.
Written for Passport Health by Elle Johnson. Elle is a freelance journalist and social media content creator in Florida. Not only does she enjoy working as a freelancer, but in her free time she enjoys working on fictional stories.