According to Widipedia
This article is about the disease in general. For information about the medieval European plague, see Black Death.
Classification and external resources
Bubonic plague is the best-known manifestation of the bacterial disease plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis (formerly known as Pasteurella pestis). Bubonic plague is often used synonymously for plague, but it does in fact refer specifically to an infection that enters through the skin and travels through the lymphatics, as is often seen in flea-borne infections. Bubonic Plague kills about 50% of infected patients in 4-7 days without treatment. The Bubonic plague is believed by many to be the Black Death that swept through Europe in the 1340s.
Pathology and transmission
The bubonic plague is an infection of the lymphatic system, usually resulting from the bite of an infected flea. The fleas are often found on rodents, such as rats, and seek out other prey when their rodent hosts die. Once established, bacteria rapidly spread to the lymph nodes and multiply. Yersinia pestis can resist phagocytosis and even reproduce inside phagocytes and kill them. As the disease progresses, the lymph nodes can hemorrhage and become necrotic. Bubonic plague can progress to lethal septicemic plague in some cases.
Main article: Black Death
The deadly disease has claimed nearly 200 million lives. The first recorded epidemic ravished the Byzantine Empire during the sixth century, and was named the Plague of Justinian after the emperor, who was infected but survived. The most infamous and devastating instance of the plague was the Black Death, which killed a third of the population of Europe. The Black Death is thought to have originated in the Gobi Desert. Carried by the fleas on rats, it spread along trade routes and reached the Crimea in 1346. In 1347 it spread to Constantinople and then Alexandria, killing thousands every day, and soon arrived in Western Europe.
The next few centuries were marked by several local outbreaks of lesser severity. The Great Plague of London, 1665–1666, was the last major outbreak of the bubonic plague in Europe. The plague resurfaced in the mid-18th century; like the Black Death, the Third Pandemic began in Central Asia. It spread worldwide, killing millions, into the early 20th century.
In modern times, several classes of antibiotics are effective in treating bubonic plague. These include the aminoglycosides streptomycin and gentamicin, the tetracyclines tetracycline and doxycycline and the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin. Patients with plague in the modern era usually recover completely and with prompt diagnosis, and treatment, although the disease is rarely seen in the industrialized world.
end wikipedia quote
Can you still get the plague today?Yes. Two people did get the plague in 2002. But it is so highly unlikely and certainly unlikely from a pet rat. The two people did get treatment and lived BTW. LOL
So yes. Pet Rats are safe, fun, trainable and even lovable and affectionate to have around. Pet Fancy Rats are less likely to bite then a hamster, more affectionate then a gerbil (or many other pets), cleaner then a guinea pig, do not need shots and registering like a dog, cat or ferret, and do not smell like mice tend to. A rat will ride on your shoulder for hours like a parrot or monkey and can be "potty trained" as well as other training like to do tricks and tasks and agility and to come when you call it's mane.
-- The Renaissance Rats Team
Mon, 15 Dec 2008 15:21:35 -0500