Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

How did the bubonic plague end?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Some have argued that changes in hygiene habits and strong efforts within public health and sanitation had a significant impact on the rate of infection. Also, medical practices of the time were based largely on spiritual and astrological factors, but towards the end of the plague doctors took a more scientific approach to helping patients.

    Side Note: Remember those that died were the most susceptible. Those that lived had some immunity.

  • John B
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    First, there were multiple examples of the black death, the bubonic plagues. They didn't just go away and neither did people develop immunities to them. Rather, one must remember the real cause of the plague and how it was spread.

    The plague is caused by a bacteria that is carried by rats and then transferred from one person to another by fleas and flea bites. When rats or fleas are eliminated, then the plague goes away.

    The plague came in waves and disappeared just as quickly. A couple things, or specific examples, of how the plague diminished are something as simple as the weather, there are fewer fleas in winter than in summer, therefore when winter began the plague drifted away. In addition, in the late 17th century during the plague outbreak in London, the Great London fire burned down a large percentage of the city, especially those areas where the houses were cheap and built close together. This killed or drove away the majority of rats and the plague left with them.

    Actually, bubonic plague still exists today. An example is, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains east of Bakersfield, California, hunters and hikers still come down with bubonic plague. However, since it is bacterial, a simple course of antibiotics cures the infection and it is gone. But it does still exist.

  • 6 years ago

    This is something of a mystery. The Great Fire occurred within the City of London Walls but the worst affected areas were outside of the City so the Fire & the Plague were probably unrelated. It is generally thought that the replacement of plague carrying Black rats by non-plague carrying Brown rats ended the plague, but this did not happen until 50 years after.

    Plagues had occurred previously in a roughly 20 year cycle (although we do not know why). The 1665 Plague was worst in the summer & declined in the winter. There was longer term climatic changes in the early modern period called the Little Ice Age, which corresponds to a decrease in sunspots called the Maunder Minimum. We have records of sunspots from this time mostly courtesy of Robert Hooke. During the plague-ridden Middle Ages the climate was around a degree higher, which was evident in higher sea levels.

    People with A blood group were more susceptible to bubonic plague and their relatively smaller presence in the current population may be the result of this.

    However the main survival factor was that people ran away as soon as they could resulting in two thirds of the City evacuating itself. The authorities failed to stop this, even though a certificate of clean health was required. This was partly through bribery & forgery, but mostly because the gates of London had been removed at the Restoration and the River Thames remained an escape route. Amongst hopes who remained the death rate was colossal. Surviving the plague appears to have given some degree of immunity, but there were instances of people catching it twice.

    Better town planning & hygiene failed to materialise & many of the subsequent buildings were equally as squalid as those destroyed in the Fire.

    Nobody actually knew what caused the Plague until Yersinia pestis was identified in the 19th century so any attempts to remedy it were always going to be haphazard. perfumed vinegar called 12 Thieves' vinegar had some protective effect even though no one knew why. This is because the vinegar acted as an insecticide.

    The current strain of Y Pestis genome was sequenced in 2011 & appears virtually identical to the older strains although it is much less infectious probably due to prompt treatment, hygiene & climate.

    Recommended reading - The Great Plague by W.E. Bell

    Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Bottom line, bubonic plague appears to have done its old world hosts in over time, killed itself out ---

    --- ohhhh but not quite. Yrsina Pestis is still around.

    Did you know fleas can jump about 16" high, from off whatever they're on, and they even stay on dead rodent hosts a while?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    See the below link to National Geographic. They trace it back to Ancient Egypt.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Put simply, the plague died out. It most likely lost its strength or lost victims weak enough to sicumb (sp?) to it. There was certainly no cure for it back then.

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