A Tale of Plagues

The Plague was not just a medieval illness.

Flagellants known as the Brothers of the Cross proceed through Tournai to free the world of the plague. Chromolithograph after the Chronica Aegidii Li Muisis (1349) © Ann Ronan/Getty Images.

Three cases of plague in China made the headlines last November, reminding us that the Plague, the medieval disease par excellence, still exists today. A wildlife refuge was closed last summer near Denver, Colorado, when infected prairie dogs were discovered. And, in 2017, Madagascar saw a large outbreak. More than 2,300 cases of plague were diagnosed on the island, leading to over 200 deaths.

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