bubonic plague love


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A form of infectious plague that is characterized by the formation of buboes and is transmitted to humans principally by the bite of a flea that has bitten an infected rodent, usually a rat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Med.) a severe and often fatal disease caused by infection with the bacterium Yersinia pestis (formerly Pasteurella pestis), transmitted to man by the bite of fleas, themselves usually infected by biting infected rodents. It is characterized by the formation of buboes, most notably on the groin and armpits, and accompanied by weakness and high fever. The disease was known as the black death, and was responsible for several devastating plagues throughout the middle ages. When lungs became infected, the disease was called the pneumonic plague. It is still found occasionally in poor areas of undeveloped countries but is rare in developed countries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun pathology A contagious, often fatal, epidemic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted by the bite of fleas from an infected person or rodent, especially a rat, and characterized by delirium, chills, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and the formation of buboes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the most common form of the plague in humans; characterized by chills, prostration, delirium and the formation of buboes in the armpits and groin; does not spread from person to person


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  • "In an age of limited horizons, the most likely culprit for introducing to Europe the pandemic of 1348 was none other than the same long-distance trade that brought spice from the East. First documented in China in the 1320s, bubonic plague is caused by a bacterium transmitted by the bite of a flea that has drunk the blood of an infected black rat, Rattus rattus. Originally a native of Southeast Asia, the Asian rat was probably first introduced to Europe by the Romans' seaborne commerce with India: a Roman rat was found at a site in London's Fenchurch Street dating from the fourth century. (The brown or Norwegian rat, which does not carry the fleas that transmit the plague bacillus, was not introduced into the greater part of western Europe before the eighteenth century. Its gradual supplanting of the black rat may explain the disappearance of the plague from Europe at much the same time.) Rattus rattus could not cross the deserts, but it could hitch a ride on the transoceanic pepper ships."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 180-181

    December 3, 2016