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Colorado 16 Year Old Dies From Plague

Taylor Gaes, a sixteen year old boy from Colorado has died from a rare case of the plague which had originally appeared to be a common case of the flu. Initially, he had suffered from a fever and muscle aches, but his lymph nodes had not been swollen which would have indicated to doctors that he had had the plague.

Although the plague is rare, in the last thirty years, three people in the same area as Gaes, in Larimer county, Colorado, have contracted the plague. There are multiple types of plagues, but it is suspected that Gaes contracted the bubonic plague through a bug bite from a flea or even a sick rodent who commonly carry the plague.

Normally the plague enters and develops within a person’s lymph glands, resulting in them becoming swollen and extremely painful. For this reason, many find that the bubonic plague is usually found in the armpits, upper femoral, groin and neck regions and can sometimes result in Acral gangrene of extremities. Although not very common, for the most part when detected early, most who contract the plague can be treated and survive today. Unfortunately for Taylor Gaes, because of his lymph nodes not having been swollen, it was not detected on time and he passed away.

The plague has a long history, with the first recorded epidemic occurring during the Byzantine Empire where the pandemic killed between 25 and 50 million people during two centuries of frequent reoccurrence. But by far the most well-known outbreak was during the Late Middle Ages (1340-1400) when Europe experienced the Black Death hitting them around 1347 and resulted in the deaths of a third of the human population. Not only did it have an impact on demography, but also on the creation of policy and many believe it allowed for Europe to become more violent as a result of fear of the Black Death.

Although the Plague today is not on the same level as it was hundreds of years ago, it is still crucial that those who suspect they may be infected with the virus seek medical attention immediately. Better safe than sorry!

About Emily Hersey

Emily Hersey
Emily is an African Studies and History student who loves reading, the gym, hip hop and horses. If she's not working on her latest research project, she's definitely working towards her next trip to South Africa and doing her Master's degree there. Contact Emily: emily.hersey@youthindependent.com