Plague

When someone is asked what comes to mind when they hear the words “plague” or “Black Death,” what will the answer be? Typically, one would respond with something along the lines of the plague in the 14th century in Europe. But the plague reached England in the late 19th and early 20th century. By looking at the Medical Officers of Health (MOH) reports of England, we can see several cases of Bubonic, Septicemic and Pneumonic plague. During this time, the government took many legislative and administrative actions to combat the plague to prevent the spread and prevalence of the plague in each district’s population. In these policies, there were also many preventative measure that were laid out that outlined how to help prevent the plague, showing how towns and cities came up with their own cautions for the plague. This can also be seen in places of most prevalent outbreaks along with foreign territories with plague cases. Another unexpected turn during this time period, was that there are many MOH reports that show that they were doing research on the plague, not just trying to stop or prevent the spread of the disease. This disease was not just an illness that happened in 14th century Europe, rather it was a catalyst for the establishment of public health resources, and dictated how governments operate for centuries to come.

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