Is this a general term or a specific disease?

By Deane Barker

It’s both. As a general term, a “plague” is a sickness that affects a wide area of people, more accurately called an epidemic or a pandemic.

However, plague is also an infection resulting from a specific bacteria. The most well-known variant is bubonic plague which infects the lymph nodes. This was the affliction known as “The Black Death” which might have killed 50% of Europe’s population in the 1300s.

There have been multiple other widespread epidemics that have used the word “plague” in their name, whether they were caused by the specific plague bacteria or not.

Why I Looked It Up

I always wondered. It came up on a medical show, I think. I character said, “This might be plague.” He didn’t say the plague, which got me confused as to whether it was a specific medical condition.

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