I received some messages in which people are asking about the epidemics which spread in the world from ancient times and its effects. Strangely enough, news spread about high alert in the region of Inner Mongolia in China after a case was reported to be a suspicion of the Bubonic plague. It is the main cause of the Black Death Pandemic in the world, in Bayannur city, North West of Beijing, according to what Xinhua Chinese News Agency reported. That’s why I prefer to talk about these epidemics. I would like to call them: Curves of the History of Mankind, which left an indelible mark in history.
As it was mentioned that: “The plague always jeopardizes the social connections, and unleashes an invisible kind of a civil war, whereas each party is cautious from its neighbor, spreading of plagues is always a test for societies.”
Let’s start to talk in brief about the epidemics that the world witnessed since the dawn of history, and left deep effects changed the world’s features; then we will talk about what Egypt has been exposed to in its history.
It is considered one of the most dangerous bacterial infections in the history of humanity. It is also known as: Bubonic plague,Nodal plague, Hemorrhagic plague. It is considered one of the ancient epidemics known in history. Ariel Kozlov, a writer, mentioned that the plague spread in Egypt in 1650 BC. Then the Bubonic plague spread in the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th century (the Byzantine empire), it was known as the Plague of Justinian; because Emperor Justinian I got infected with, but he was cured. Procopius, the historian, mentioned that the plague reached Constantinople which became its greatest exporter. It spread through the whole empire, then the areas around the Mediterranean Sea, to Asia, until it reached Greece and Italy; causing the death of about 25 million people!!
In the 7th century in (639 AD), the plague spread again in Palestine. It showed up in Emmaus village, near Jerusalem, that’s why it was called: the Plague of Emmaus. Then it spread in Al-Sham during the Caliphate of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab. It was mentioned that it lasted for one month, leaving casualties around 25 thousand people.
The Bubonic Plague returned once again in the 14th century (1340-1400 AD), it started to appear in an area near China, spread to Italy, and then to Europe massively killing one third of its population. It caused the death of one hundred million people in Europe and Asia, that’s why it was called: the Black Death!!!
The 19th century witnessed its return in some countries like Egypt in (1801, 1834 AD), and Iran in 1829 AD.
Nevertheless, its overrun was in (1855-1950 AD); it spread in the East of Asia in China and Yunnan province in 1855 AD, to move to India 1869 AD, then to Hawaii islands 1899 AD. Meanwhile, in 1900 AD the plague spread in Australia through shipment of goods.
But the plague didn’t diminish totally, as it was considered active until 1959 AD. In 1994 AD, it re-spread in some Indian states. Moreover, it was declared that 2013 witnessed a huge number of infections reached 750 cases, from which 126 died.
In addition, in 2020, a suspicious case of Bubonic plague appeared in Bayannur city in China. The Bubonic Plague is considered from the infectious diseases that lead to the death of two-thirds of its patients if not treated quickly, based on what was declared by the World Health Organization. That plague is transmitted to humans through rodents, and fleas that get infected by a kind of bacteria called (Yersinia Pestis), and between animals by the fleas dependent on them.
One of its symptoms is severe high fever. It is accompanied by other symptoms that appear 1-7 days from the day of infection: shivering chills, pain in head and body, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and coughing…
Stories about Beautiful Egypt never end!
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center