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Important Facts For Prelims

Black Death

  • 24 Jun 2022
  • 2 min read

Why in News?

In a study published in the journal Science, researchers have claimed that the disease (black death) originated in modern day northern Kyrgyzstan around 1338-1339 – nearly 7-8 years before it ravaged large parts of the world.

What was the Black Death?

  • The term Black Death refers to the bubonic plague that spread across Western Asia, Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe in 1346-53.
  • Most scholars agree that the Black Death, which killed millions, was caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis and was spread by fleas that were carried by rodent hosts.
  • The microorganism Y. pestis spread to human populations, who at some point transmitted it to others either through the vector of a human flea or directly through the respiratory system.
  • Contemporaries who wrote about the epidemic, often described the buboes (hard, inflamed lymph nodes) as the distinguishing clinical feature.
  • In the 14th century, the epidemic was referred to as the ‘great pestilence’ or ‘great death’, due to the demographic havoc that it caused.
  • Due to a lack of comprehensive historical data from that time, it is difficult to know the exact death toll.

Source: IE

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