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August 31, 1907


Author Affiliations

Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Medico-Chirurgical College and Physician to the Medico-Chirurgical Hospital. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1907;XLIX(9):759-762. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25320090035001j

Plague, in the time of Galen, was any epidemic disease causing many deaths, but the word is now restricted to that acute epidemic, febrile disease, with polyadenitis, due to the plague bacillus. It is believed to be transmitted to man by fleas that have infected plaguestricken rats. This malady has doubtless existed for ages, and certain epidemics that occurred two or three hundred years before Christ were unquestionably plague.

In the fourteenth century plague was pandemic and spread from the tropical and subtropical countries of the East through Europe as far north as Greenland, and it is estimated that the mortality was in the neighborhood of 25,000,000. Between 1876 and 1889 it is estimated that more than 250,000 deaths occurred from plague. This disease is now confined to Asia and is only occasionally imported into Europe by way of Turkey. The following centers for this disease are recognized: (1) Bombay,

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