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Since the reign of Emperor Justinian in 542 AD man has one unwelcome organism along for the ride Yersinia pestis This is the bacterium more commonly know as the Black Death the plague Plague is divided into three biotypes each associated with one of three major pandemics occurring in history Each of these biotypes are then divided into three distinct types classified by method of infection The most widely know is bubonic an infection of plague that resides in the lymph nodes causing them to swell The Black Death of the 14th century was mainly of this type Bubonic plague is commonly spread through fleas that have made a meal from an infected Rattus rattus The most dangerous type of plague is pneumonic It can be spread through aerosol droplets released through coughs sneezes or through fluid contact It may also become a secondary result of a case of untreated bubonic or septicemic plague Although not as common as the bubonic strain it is more deadly It has an untreated mortality rate on nearly 100 as compared to 50 untreated mortality for bubonic plague It attacks the respiratory track furthering the cycle The third type of plague is septemic It is spread by direct bodily fluid contact It may also develop as a secondary result of untreated bubonic or pneumonic plague A LITTLE HISTORY As mentioned before the most known incidence of bubonic plague was in 14th century Europe In 1346 reports of a terrible pestilence in China spreading through Mesopotamia and Asia Minor had reached Europe but caused no concern until two years later In January of 1348 the plague had reached Marseille in France and Tunis in Africa By the end of the next year the plague had reached as far as Norway Scotland Prussia Iceland and Italy In 1351 the infection had spread to include Russia The plague was an equal opportunity killer In Avignon nine bishops were killed King Alfonso XI
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