As if we didn't have enough to worry about with swine flu looming in the shadows, now it seems the bacterium famous for causing the "Black Death" is rearing it's ugly head in China. Apparently 3 people have died and the authorities are enacting a quarantine of the town where all three lived.
"According to WHO, pneumonic plague is one of the deadliest infectious diseases, capable of killing humans within 24 hours of infection. It is spread through the air and can be passed from person to person through coughing.
Pneumonic plague is caused by the same bacteria that causes bubonic plague — the Black Death that killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages. However, bubonic plague is usually transmitted by flea bites.
Pneumonic plague occurs when the bacteria infects the lungs, or after complications from bubonic plague that goes untreated."