Pastorbluejeans Unplugged Weekender: Bubonic Plague and the Plagues of Egypt.
Malacañang on Thursday allayed public fears over a confirmed case of the bubonic plague in China, saying the country’s borders remain closed amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser that, they “are taking that seriously but don’t worry because the entry of foreigners is only on a case-to-case basis),”
Roque said only foreigners with a valid reason would be allowed entry to the country.
Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection acquired from the bite of infected fleas. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, weakness, and one or more swollen, tender, and painful lymph nodes (called buboes). It was responsible for one of the deadliest epidemics in human history, the Black Death, which killed about 50 million people across Africa, Asia, and Europe in the 14th Century.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is “carefully monitoring” a case of bubonic plague in China’s northern Inner Mongolia region but says it is “not high risk.”
According to WHO, the bubonic plague can be treated using common antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can have a case-fatality rate of 30 percent to 60 percent.
The report on the confirmed case of bubonic plague came as the world continues to fight the Covid-19, which originated in China’s Wuhan last year.
More than 12 million people worldwide have been infected with Covid-19. In the Philippines, more than 50,000 cases have been recorded as of July 9. (PNA, http://www.pna.gov.ph)
According to the World Health Organization, plague is primarily a disease of rodents and their fleas, which can infect humans. It is transmitted to people when infected rodent fleas bite them. Plague was known as the “Black Death” was responsible for the widespread pandemics with high mortality. During the 14th century, plague caused the death of 50 million people. About half of them in Asia and Africa and another half in Europe.
Pneumonic plague is an infection of the lungs with the plague bacillus. It can be transmitted directly from person to person via infected air droplets or through infected clothing and other contaminated artticles. Pneumonic plague can prove fatal in 24 to 72 hours and is the most virulent form of plague. (www.who.int)
The first pandemic known in history was the Justinian plague. It occurred between 542 AD and 546 AD, causing epidemics in Asia, Africa and Europe. Victims of this pandemic was estimated to nearly 100 million. The second plague pandemic is the well-known “Black Death” of the 14th century (1347-1350) as mentioned above. The third one began in Canton and Hong Kong in 1894. It rapidly spread throughout the world by rats aboard the steamships. These faster steamers replaced the slow-moving vessels used then by merchant fleets.
Read: The Plagues of Egypt.
The Plagues of Egypt display the inability of the “divine” pharaoh to sustain cosmic order. It is Yahweh, through his servants Moses and Aaron, who triumphed over cosmic struggle, showing who really controls the forces of nature. No other name can be proclaimed in all the earth, only the name of the Lord (Exo. 9:7).
In the same way, it is God through his word, the Bible, and through the people who continuously believe in him, who will triumph over this pandemic. The news of the bubonic plague case in China should not render us hopeless. Instead, it is another opportunity to experience the power God.