Most of us encounter the word bacterium in its Latin-based plural form, bacteria. Plague is a see also of pandemic. For health, safety, and medical emergencies or updates on the novel coronavirus pandemic, please visit the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization). Thanks to modern medicine, however, the plague is now extremely rare and not a great risk to many people anymore. by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at This plague is what is meant by the Black Death, which was a form of bubonic plague that spread over Europe in the 1300s and killed about a quarter of the population. The other two kinds of plague are pneumonic and septicemic. Also like a plague, the coronavirus is also causing widespread affliction, if we consider all the pain, loss, and distress from the virus. An epidemic is used as a description when the infected cover a significant local population, or even up to the size of a country. Accommodating themselves to life under social distancing guidelines due to the spread of the coronavirus, not a day goes by when someone doesn’t mention the word “pandemic.” But when did this epidemic turn into a pandemic?
There are three kinds of plague. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11. Is “Exult” The Word You’ll Be Looking For After This Election? Plague-ridden fleas hitched a ride on the black rats that snac… Summary of Pandemic Vs. Enter your email for word fun in your inbox every day.

Bacterium, bubonic?

The Plague of Justinian arrived in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in 541 CE. OK, etymology break: pestilence is ultimately from the Latin pestis, “contagious, disease, plague.” Pestis is also the source of the English pest, which originally denoted the bubonic plague. The technical name for this specific outbreak is SARS-COV-2, and it is the first time a coronavirus has caused a pandemic. The most familiar to you is probably bubonic plague. Epidemic vs. Pandemic . Take a deep breath with us now.) Pneumonic plague is when the bacteria becomes airborne and infects the lungs instead of the lymph glands. A widespread affliction, calamity or destructive influx, especially when seen as divine retribution.

Note: Many of the death toll numbers listed above are best estimates based …

Pestilence is defined as “a deadly or virulent epidemic disease,” especially the bubonic plague. They both are infectious diseases that spread to humans from certain animals (that’s called zoonotic).

One of the most noticeable symptoms of this form is the development of buboes (swollen lymph nodes) in the armpits and groin. As a adjective epidemic is like or having to do with an epidemic; widespread.

Further, while antibiotics work on bacteria, they do not work on viruses. Quarantine, the separation of a person or people who may be infected, is different than medical isolation, which is when the person or people separated are known to be infected and contagious. Septicemic plague is the rarest and deadliest; it is when plague has infected the blood directly, and in the Middle Ages it would almost guarantee death within twenty-four hours. We make the distinction between the coronavirus vs. plague because, in a time of crisis and uncertainty, it can be important to use words carefully and sensitively, speaking about matters accurately and ensuring we don’t cause any panic. Follow him on Twitter @HunterDeRensis. It’s not clear, though, exactly what type of disease was meant in the Bible. Plague can also mean “an epidemic disease that causes high mortality” or “pestilence.” More figuratively, plague can mean “any widespread, calamity, or evil,” especially one considered a direct punishment by God.

Plague of Cyprian: A.D. 250-271. As nouns the difference between epidemic and plague is that epidemic is a widespread disease that affects many individuals in a population while plague is the bubonic plague, the pestilent disease caused by the virulent bacterium ''yersinia pestis .

In the case of the plague, the scientific name for the bacterium is Yersinia pestis.

The plague causes serious, and often fatal, infections. These senses of plague probably bring to mind biblical plagues, such as the plagues of Egypt, which were ten disasters God inflicted on Egypt, including swarms of locusts, hordes of frogs, a scourge of boils, pestilence of livestock, and the death of firstborn sons.
It was the Black Plague that gave us the word “quarantine,” derived from the Italian “quarantena,” meaning “forty days.” That is the length of time that ships in fifteenth century Venice would have to wait at port before coming ashore. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Table comparing Pandemic and Epidemic and Plague. Epidemic Vs. Plague. The past two months have thrust the terminology of public health into the forefront of people’s conversation. Hunter DeRensis is a senior reporter for the National Interest.

See Wiktionary Terms of Use for details. The National Interest has developed a terminological and etymological guide for readers to make sense of the situation. The two terms are not interchangeable. “Nutritional” vs. “Healthy”: Are These Synonyms? No, the new coronavirus is not the plague.

For more words related to the coronavirus, see our glossary. Let’s drill down some more. When the coronavirus is under control across the world and society begins to recover, you may hear people likening the coronavirus to a metaphorical plague due to its consequences. And for more important distinctions between confusing words related to the coronavirus, see our articles pandemic vs. epidemic, quarantine vs. isolation, and respirator vs. ventilator. Well, a word like plague generally connotes a massive scale of death that we’re thankfully not witnessing so far with the coronavirus—and we don’t say this to downplay the cost COVID-19 has wreaked on people’s lives and livelihoods. Redefine your inbox with updates!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. So, what do the coronavirus and the plague have in common?

The terms the plague or just plague (without the or a) refer to an infectious disease caused by a bacterium spread from rats to humans by means of flea bites. By contrast, a plague is not an epidemiologic term but one that refers specifically to a contagious bacterial disease characterized by fever and delirium, such as bubonic plague. And perhaps, as you’ve followed the news or talked to people about COVID-19, you have even heard the coronavirus called a “plague.”. An epidemic is the rapid spread of a disease among a given population in a short duration of time. What does plague mean?

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