Great Plague
The "Great Plague" that swept London in 1665 was probably not really the plague but rather typhus. The plague was a highly contagious, infectious, virulent, devastating disease due to a bacteria called Yersinia pestis which mainly infects rats and other rodents that serve as the prime reservoir for the bacteria. Fleas function as the prime vectors carrying the bacteria from one species to another. The fleas bite the rodents infected with Y. pestis and then they bite people and so transmit the disease to them. Transmission of the plague to people can also occur from eating infected animals such as squirrels (e.g., in the southeastern U.S.) Once someone has the plague, they can transmit it to another person via aerosol droplets. The word "pestilence" comes from "pestis," the Latin word for "plague." Because the plague was responsible for so many deaths, the plague and death have long been linked in literature. The 14th- century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer spoke of "pestilence" in "The Pardoner's Tale": "Ther cam a privee theef men clepeth Deeth, / That in this contree al the peple sleeth, / And with his spere he smoot his herte atwo, / And wente his wey withouten wordes mo. / He hath a thousand slayn this pestilence." "La Peste" (The Plague), a novel by the Nobel Prize-winning 20th- century French writer Albert Camus, is set in the Algerian city of Oran overrun by a deadly epidemic of the plague.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Great Plague — the bubonic plague that occurred in London in 1665 and killed about 15 percent of the city s population. Also, great plague. * * * a serious outbreak of bubonic plague in England in 1665 6, in which about one fifth of the population of London… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Great Plague — the bubonic plague that occurred in London in 1665 and killed about 15 percent of the city s population. Also, great plague. * * * …   Universalium

  • Great Plague — Black Plague, epidemic of the bubonic plague that struck London during the mid 1660s …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Great Plague —    The plague that spread out of Rhovanion into Gondor and Eriador in Third Age 1636.        The sickness of the middle years of the Third Age.    Another name for the Dark Plague, the sickness that blighted Middleearth in the middle of the Third …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Great Plague of London — A bill of mortality for the plague in 1665. The Great Plague (1665–1666) was a massive outbreak of disease in the Kingdom of England (modern day United Kingdom) that killed an estimated 100,000 people, 20% of London s population.[1] The disease… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Plague of Seville — The Great Plague of Seville (1647–1652) was a massive outbreak of disease in Spain that killed up to a quarter of Seville s population.Unlike the plague of 1596–1602 which claimed 600,000 to 700,000 lives, or a little under 8% of the population,… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Plague of Vienna — The Great Plague of Vienna occurred in 1679 in Vienna, Austria, the imperial residence of the Austrian Habsburg rulers. From contemporary descriptions, the disease is believed to have been bubonic plague, which is caused by the bacterium Yersinia …   Wikipedia

  • Great Plague of London — (1664–66) Epidemic of plague that ravaged London, killing more than 75,000 of a total population estimated at 460,000. As early as 1625, 40,000 Londoners had died of the plague, but this was the worst and the last of the epidemics. Most of the… …   Universalium

  • Great Plague of Marseille — The Great Plague of Marseille was one of the most significant European outbreaks of bubonic plague in the early 18th century. Arriving in Marseille, France in 1720, the disease killed 100,000 people in the city and the surrounding provinces. [… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Plague of 1738 — The Great Plague of 1738 was an outbreak of the bubonic plague between 1738 1740 that affected areas in the modern nations of Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, and Austria. Although no exact figure is available, the epidemic likely… …   Wikipedia

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