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When Plague Strikes by James Cross Giblin

  • Date Submitted: 05/07/2013 07:25 PM
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When Plague Strikes By James Cross Giblin
When Plague Strikes by James Cross Giblin is a nonfiction historical account of how plague has influenced the world throughout the ages, giving detailed accounts of how plagues have had an effect on even those not infected. The three plagues discussed in When Plague Strikes are the bubonic plague, small pox, and AIDS. Giblin brings attention to how these plagues have torn communities apart, and how it has brought them together. Although there will always be those who put themselves before others, this book shows that the whole world is capable of working together and stamping out a plague with their combined efforts.
The bubonic plague, one of the most devastating epidemics in the history of the world, is one of the topics covered by Giblin. The bubonic plague started in 1347 and ravaged all through Europe and Asia for over five years. Victims of the plague sprouted large and painful pustules in the armpit or around the groin. After about five days, the pustules became infected and the victim died. The Black Death is said to have started somewhere around Sicily, but the exact location of origin is unknown. Although five years is not an eternity, over one-third of Europe’s population was infected, claiming a total of almost 75 million lives.
The next disease talked about in the book is smallpox. Although the disease is less fatal than the Black Death, it still claimed nearly 33% of its victims. Those who did not die from smallpox were often left blind or permanently disfigured. This is mainly due to the young age of most smallpox victims. Smallpox mainly targeted young children without fully formed immune systems. This weakness made them more susceptible to catching smallpox. The smallpox virus is extremely contagious, and as a result of its infectiousness, smallpox spread all over the world. It was found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. All in all, smallpox claimed nearly 500 million people, almost 6 times the...

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