Bubonic Plague called Dysentery

April 30, 2012

Couple days ago, few of my friends were sick because of diarrhea, for a couple of days. But after they went to see doctor, the doctor told them that they were having a disease called dysentery. Some people might called dysentery was just a mild disease, but if it not treated well, it can be fatal and will end up to death.

A legendary hero, a Saint who led the 7th and 8th Crusades, King of France, St. Louis IX was believed to have died from this bubonic plague, which called dysentery. King Louis IX died of the plague outside the walls of Tunis (Aug. 25, 1270), when he tried to capture the city of Tunis, Tunisia.

Louis IX of FranceThe Bettmann Archive

St. Louis IX of France, in a portrait by Jean Fouquet (c.1416-1480)

So, What is this Bubonic Plague called Dysentery?

Dysentery is a painful inflammation on the large intestine, it's usually accompanied by severe diarrhea. The principal types are amebic dysentery and bacillary dysentery.

Amebic Dysentery is caused by the ameba Endamoeba histolytica. The majority of persons infected with E. histolytica manifest no symptoms, or discomfort. They are called carriers because, although not apperently ill, they may transmit the disease to the others, through their infected feces.

In some cases may have mild indigestion and a slight fever. Weakness, nausea, vomitting, and abdominal cramps are usually present. Severe untreated cases may be fatal. However, it can be treated readily through the use of various medications, including diodoquine, oxytetracycline, and carbarsone. The prevention of infection can be accomplished by sanitary disposal of human waste, control of food and water supplies, also early detection and treatment of carriers.

Bacillary Dysentery is caused by infection with bacteria of the genus Shigella. Epidemics are likely to occur where conditions are crowded and unsanitary. The disease has played an important role in military history. The differs from the amebic form in that most cases develop rapidly, display symptoms consisting of violent, often bloody, diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomitting.

5 or more bowel movements an hour are not uncommon during the 1st day, and dehydration may result. Fluids must be administrated to replace those that are lost. In severe cases, solutions containing sodium and potassium are introduced through the veins. In milder infections, symptoms may be limited to 1 or 2 days of mild diarrhea. Bacillary dysentery is not ordinarily fatal. The preventive techniques used in amebic dysentery also apply to the bacillary form.

Taken from Encyclopedia International:
Amebic Dysentery by Jerome D. Waye, M.D.,
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York.
Bacillary Dysentery by Robert Woods Brown, M.D.,
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of California, San Fransisco.

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