The Plague 1938

The Plague
Taylor Stockstad
"...Such fear and fanciful notions took possession of the living that almost all
of them adopted the same cruel policy, which was entirely to avoid the sick
and everything belonging to them. By so doing, each one thought he would
secure his own safety.” - Giovanni Boccaccio
There are three forms of the Plague
I will focus on the Bubonic Plague
It derives its name from the swellings or buboes.
Europe first experienced
the “Black Death” between 1348 and 1350
It is believed the plague originated in Asia, and moved
west with Mongol armies and traders.
Efforts to Stop the Plague
Seemed Useless
It had a devastating affect on Europe
The Population decreased by 25% to 50%
We can still see the memory
of its impact today
Ring a-round the
rosy Pocket full of
posies Ashes,
ashes! We all fall
The reservoir of the plague bacteria is normally
The transmission of the Plague from Rodents
was caused by the Oriental Rat Flea.
There was a complex cycle of
Transmission from flea to human.
Symptoms of The Bubonic
Symptoms normally took around1-7 days to appear
Symptoms included:
Aching joints
Then. . .
A Sign of Impending Death
Would Appear
These signs were swellings, called buboes, that appeared
on a victim's neck, armpits or groin.
All forms
were caused
by a rod shaped
The Plague bacteria has the ability to avoid the
innate immune response, the body's front line
of defense.
Yersinia Pestis can rapidly kill
the host due to it’s machinery.
The bacteria can resist
phagocytosis by injecting
proteins called YOPS (Yersinia
Outer Proteins) into
macrophages and other immune
Thus, it rapidly spreads into the
blood stream Reaching to the
lymphnodes, where the swelling
occurs and killing the host.
The Plague still
affects the U.S.
In the United States
during the 1980s plague
cases averaged about 18
per year.
Most of the cases occurred
in persons under 20 years
of age.
About 1 in 7 persons with
plague died.
World Wide distribution of
the Plague in 1998
An Effective Treatment does
Exist Today
The drugs of choice are streptomycin or gentamycin,
but a number of other antibiotics are also effective.
Prevention is an even better approach
The Plague Epidemic is still a Big Problem
in Developing Countries.
Rural and urban areas of developing countries often
have problems with rat infestation and are put at a
higher risk of bubonic plague.
Unfair Distribution of
Antibiotics is the Cause.

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