• Alysa Salzberg

The Black Plague is back – but don't worry!

Updated: Jul 14

There’s a running joke that 2020 is the year that wants to kill us all.


It’s no wonder: from the COVID-19 pandemic, to murder hornets, and so much more, it’s been a scary time. Some recent news seems to indicate another improbable disaster: a resurgence of the black plague. A case of the notorious disease has been reported in China.


So, is it time to panic?


The bubonic plague terrifyingly wiped out 60% of the population of Europe in the 14th century.


Luckily, for once, there’s good news. New cases of bubonic plague are reported every year in countries around the world. While it can be fatal, most of the time it's caught early and can be easily treated with antibiotics.


Okay, that might sound reassuring, but what happens if a person with the black plague goes untreated? Fortunately, measures are already in place for containing a potential outbreak, since cases occur every year. For instance, tourist attractions in the region where the case was reported are currently shut down.


Another comforting factor is that thanks to vastly improved hygiene, the spread of the black plague is a lot harder today.


So it seems like the black plague won’t kill us all (or nearly all) this time.


….Although if you’re a pessimist, you may be wondering, “Okay, 2020, what’s next?”


Read on for details about the recent case of bubonic plague in China, as well as information about the disease itself.


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