A major US city just got hit with several confirmed cases of an old disease – so old, in fact, that nearly all of modern humanity will never see a case.
In fact, modern humanity hasn’t seen an outbreak of this in nearly…well, nearly 6 centuries. And now it’s back.
I guess New Mexico didn’t have enough to deal with already.
The Conservative Tribune reports:
Another two plague cases have been reported in the Santa Fe area of New Mexico, health officials report.
Two women, ages 52 and 62, have both been treated for the dreaded disease. They constitute the second and third plague victims from Santa Fe County.
That’s not a lot, but it’s about three cases more than you want to see in any area.
Now, if you’ve forgotten your history, let me catch you up.
Way, way back in the day, invading armies and China fought quite a bit. And in those days, when you fought a battle, you had quite a large pile of bodies at the end.
It made a great home for rats, who brought with them what we now call the Black Death. It’s one of the most painful ways to die imaginable – giant, pus-filled sores, vomiting, and delirium.
It’s the subject of one of our most famous nursery rhymes, in fact. Ring around the rosie, pockets full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down. The ring-shaped sores come, people keep flowers with them to ward off the smell of the dead, the dead are burned, and we all die.
It might sound paranoid, but contemporary accounts of the plague agree – roughly a third of the world died.
Mind you, we’re cleaner now, and we don’t leave battlefields full of corpses.
But we do have lots of pets. And they still attract rats, and fleas.
History buffs out there might remember what so famously made the plague so widespread back in the day — fleas on rats.
This minor outbreak reportedly shares causes not to different from back then. Pets roaming outside and picking up fleas from dead rodents, then returning home seems to be an easy way for the plague to spread.
It’s such a danger that state public health officials are actually in agreement about something: don’t let your pets play outside.
And, by all means, if you don’t feel well, go see a doctor. Quickly.
Source: Conservative Tribune