Hundreds of years ago, epidemics of deadly diseases arose more often, than today. The main reason for this can be considered the low level of development of medicine in those days, that is, people simply did not understand what exactly the mass extinction of people and animals is connected with. Due to the fact that in past centuries mankind had no idea about the existence of pathogenic microbes, the only way people could explain the occurrence of diseases was the tricks of evil forces. Sick people were literally considered “possessed by the devil” and tried to stay away from them. According to an international group of scientists, in the time of the absence of any medicine, faith in Satan and fear of unclean forces could very well save people’s lives.
How did people escape from the plague?
Such a verdict was made by scientists during a study whose results were published in a scientific journal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. They conducted a survey among 3,140 residents of 28 countries to find out how many people in the world believe in the existence of Satan and other evil forces. They compared the results of the survey with the incidence of epidemics of infectious diseases. It turned out that believers in the devil and other evil spirits mostly live in the most “sick” countries.
Scientists have not yet identified the exact cause of this trend, but they have put forward a very interesting assumption. Since thousands of years ago the belief in evil spirits was especially strong, fearing to approach the “obsessed,” people could thereby protect themselves from being infected by dangerous bacteria. Perhaps, without faith in evil spirits, the number of victims of large-scale epidemics could be much larger.
One of the deadliest pandemics in the history of mankind is considered the so-called “Black Death”. By this term it is customary to understand the epidemic of the plague of 1347-1351, which began in eastern China and reached Europe. In those days, they still did not know about it, but the cause of the dangerous disease is a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, also known as stick plague. It spread to people from infected fleas, and then spread through water and air.
Fever, swollen lymph nodes, and damage to the lungs and other internal organs were observed in patients with plague. The disease was extremely difficult and ultimately almost always ended in the death of a person. Probably the infected people looked far from the best way, so it is not surprising that they were considered obsessed with the devil and tried to stay away from them.
Plague in the modern world
For some, this will be a great discovery, but you can get the plague even today. Typically, traces of plague sticks are found in the African Republic of Congo, the island of Madagascar, and the South American country of Peru. In the period from 2010 to 2015, 3248 cases of the disease were recorded in different parts of the planet, during which 584 people died.
As you might guess, today the death rate from the plague is not as high as before. Early diagnosis and timely antibiotic treatment helps to escape from death. However, antibiotics will not cope with the plague forever – over time, bacteria develop drug resistance, therefore, scientists are trying to work out an alternative to them.