What is the plague, and why it is called the Black Death?

 The affected limb when the disease plague

Plague - a serious infectious disease that leads to large-scale epidemics, and often ends with the death of the sick person .  Called Iersinia pestis - the bacterium that was discovered in the late 19th century French scientist A .  Yersenom and Japanese Researchers .  Kitazato .  At this time of plague studied well enough .  In developed countries, outbreaks of plague are rare, but it was not always .  First described in the sources of plague occurred in the VI century on the territory of the Roman Empire .  Then, the disease claimed the lives of about 100 million .  man .  After eight centuries of history repeated plague in Western Europe and the Mediterranean, killing more than 60 million .  man .  The third large-scale epidemic began in Hong Kong in the late XIX century and quickly spread to more than 100 port cities in the Asian region .  In India alone, the plague led to the death of 12 million .  man .  In the dire consequences and the characteristic symptoms of the plague are often called "black death" .  She did not spare neither adults nor children, and in the absence of treatment "kills" more than 70% of infected people .

Currently, the plague is rare. However, around the globe there are still natural foci, where infectious agents are regularly detected in rodents living there. The latter, incidentally, are the main carriers of the disease. In the human body the deadly plague bacteria enter through fleas that are looking for new owners after the mass destruction of infected rats and mice. In addition, known airborne route of transmission, which, in fact, determines the rapid spread of plague and epidemics.

In our country, to the number of plague-endemic regions include the Stavropol region, Trans-Baikal, Altai, Caspian Lowland and the East Urals region.

Etiology and pathogenesis

Yersinia pestis resistant to low temperatures .  They are well preserved in the sputum and easily transmitted from person to person by airborne droplets .  If flea bites in the exposed area of ​​skin first appear small pimple filled with hemorrhagic content (skin plague) .  After this process is spreading rapidly through the lymphatic vessels .  They are ideal conditions for bacteria, which leads to the explosive growth of pathogens of the plague, their merger and the formation of conglomerates (bubonic plague) .  Perhaps the penetration of bacteria in the respiratory system of the further development of the pulmonary form .  The latter is extremely dangerous, as characterized by a very fast flowing and covers the vast territory due to intensive distribution among the members of the population .  If treatment begins too late plague, the disease goes into septicemic form that affects absolutely all the organs and systems of the body, and in most cases ends in death of man .

Plague - symptoms

Plague symptoms appear after 2 - 5 days. The disease begins with acute fever, a sharp increase in body temperature up to critical levels, drop in blood pressure. In the future, these signs are joined neurological symptoms: delusions, incoordination, confusion. Other characteristic symptoms of "black death" depends on the specific form of the infection.

  • bubonic plague - swollen lymph nodes, liver, spleen. The lymph nodes become hard and very painful, filled with pus, which eventually breaks out. Wrong diagnosis or inadequate treatment of the plague led to the death of a patient for 3-5 days after infection;
  • pneumonic plague - affects the lungs, patients complain of cough, copious expectoration, which are blood clots. If you do not start treatment in the first hours after infection, all further activities will be ineffective and the patient will die within 48 hours;
  • septic plague - the symptoms suggest the spread of pathogens virtually all organs and systems. Man killed the most during the day.

Doctors are well known and so called minor form of the disease. It manifests a slight rise in body temperature, swollen lymph nodes and a headache, but these symptoms usually disappear on their own within a few days.

Treatment of plague

 The medicine for injection in the treatment of bubonic plague

Diagnosis plague carried by laboratory sowing immunoassays and polymerase chain reaction. If the patient is found bubonic plague or some other form of this infection, it immediately hospitalized. When treating such patients plague health personnel must observe strict precautions. Physicians should wear 3-ply gauze dressings, protective eyewear to prevent contact with sputum on the face, shoe and cap, completely covering the hair. If possible, use the special anti-plague suits. The compartment in which the patient is isolated from the other rooms institution.

If a person is found bubonic plague, it is administered by intramuscular streptomycin 3-4 times a day, and tetracycline antibiotics intravenously. Intoxication patients showing saline and gemodez. Lowering blood pressure is considered as a reason for emergency treatment and resuscitation in case of increase of the intensity of the process. Pulmonary and septic forms of plague require increased doses of antibiotics immediately cupping intravascular coagulation syndrome, administration of fresh plasma.

With the development of modern medicine, large-scale plague became a rarity, and now the death rate of patients do not exceed 5-10%. It is true that for those cases where the treatment of plague begins on time and complies with the rules and regulations. For this reason, any doubt about the presence of pathogens in the body of plague, doctors are required to carry out the urgent hospitalization of the patient and prevent the authorities involved in the control of the spread of infectious diseases.