Plague is a term derived from Latin pestis and what refers to a disease of severity that can be spread between affected and that has a high mortality rate. A bacterium named Yersinia pestis is responsible for causing this evil that affects the human being and about animals.
It is often said that the plague is the infectious disease that has caused the most deaths throughout history. To understand its scope, we can recall the pandemic that was developed in the XIV century on the European continent and which became known as Black Death: the figures speak of more than 25 million fatalities. It is believed that the magnitude of the pandemic was due to a variety of the aforementioned bacteria.
Within the scope of literature we come across works that revolve around the plague or that use it in their titles.
Thus, for example, we find the book “Tales of the plague.” It is a play by the masterful Mario Vargas Llosa that tells how several young people are locked up in a mansion on the outskirts of the city, which is being ravaged by the plague. A confinement that they will take advantage of to tell each other all kinds of stories, that speak of love, power, humor …
It should not be overlooked either that the Black Death becomes one of the main protagonists of the novel “A world without end”, the second part of “The pillars of the Earth.” The British writer Ken Follet is the author of that one, in which, in addition to the personal lives of the central characters, an approach is made to how that serious disease caused havoc among the population of the fourteenth century.
According to the type of infection and to the characteristics of the disease, it is possible to distinguish between different classes of pests. The bubonic plague is the most widespread: it occurs when an individual is bitten by a flea that, in turn, was staying in a rodent who had the infection. Another possibility is that the person comes into contact with a material contaminated by the bacillus. High fever, swollen glands, and headache are some of the symptoms of bubonic plague.
If the bacteria attack the lungs, we are facing a case of lung plague. The infection, in these cases, can spread through the air and your inhalation. Small drops of saliva from an infected person may be enough for the infected person to spread their disease.
It should be noted that the concept of plague is also used to name any kind of disease (“I don’t feel well, I must have some plague”), to something unpleasant or from poor quality (“That’s a pest, get it away from me”), to what can cause problems or damages (“The alcoholism it is a plague for this town “) and what is in Big number (“The teenage plague invaded the shopping malls on winter break”).
However, the term plague is also often used with other meanings. Thus, for example, colloquially it is used to indicate a bad smell or to refer to something or someone that is considered to cause great harm.
There is also a colloquial verbal locution that also uses it. It is about “saying bad things about someone”. With it, what is tried to express is that an individual finds himself talking fatally about another person, criticizing his attitude, his way of being or his way of behaving.
Also known as the bubonic plague or black death, it left an indelible mark in the 14th century, reaching its most devastating point between the years 1347 and 1353. In addition to the 25 million human beings who died in Europe, as mentioned in a previous paragraph , it is estimated that the number of victims in the Asian continent it was around 50 million.
Studies conducted today indicate that the Black Death began in Asia and it was through trade routes that it spread to Europe. The sailors unknowingly took her to Messina, a city in southern Italy, and thus began the second phase of the attack of this devastating pandemic. It is worth mentioning that although certain zones they lost all their inhabitants, others were not affected at all by the plague, or suffered slightly.
To cite some of the data Specific: of the Italian city of Florence only 20% of the population could be saved; In the territory that currently belongs to Germany, history tells that the casualties were equivalent to 10% of its inhabitants, with the majority of deaths in the cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Cologne, and the minority in the east.
To level Social, the Black Death had very serious consequences. For example, Jews were accused of having caused the pandemic through the poisoning of wells (contamination of drinking water networks deliberately caused to harm third parties) and food poisoning. This led to Jewish pogroms in various parts of the European continent, wiping out many of their communities in a way that was as unjust as it was heinous.