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Bubonic Plague

April 28, 2003
Re "Epidemics of Fear and Mistrust," by William Deverell, Commentary, April 24: On occasions, as a witness to the Los Angeles bubonic plague of 1924, I have described the fear and terror to younger people or those from out of this state. I was 6 years old. My mother and I watched from the west bank of the Los Angeles River as city employees destroyed many homes and structures by fire on the east side of the river. It was an eerie sight to see the "sky high" flames at night and the reflections in the river as well as the shadowy figures of firemen running around the quarantined area.
June 15, 1987 | TRACEY KAPLAN, Times Staff Writer
First, 10 pounds of dog food disappeared from the Shulers' garage while they were on vacation. Shortly afterward, Liz Sierra's summer garden was destroyed overnight. Then a group of Simi Valley homeowners whose properties back onto a 219-acre vacant parcel owned by comedian Bob Hope and known informally as "Hopetown" began the regular practice of running in and out of their houses, clapping and shouting. "Back and forth, back and forth.
March 14, 1986
Anne C. Roark's article (Feb. 23), "AIDS Adds to History of Epidemics," presents us with a picture of AIDS as no more than the most recent of a long line of epidemic diseases--leprosy (the Antonine plague of ancient Rome), cholera, syphilis, and, in our century, influenza and polio. Like these diseases, so Roark would have us think, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (1) is highly contagious, (2) is of unknown cause, and (3) produces the "need to mythologize disease" to explain the seemingly unexplainable.
December 1, 1985
Edward Cornish's column spells out for us the effect of AIDS on our future life styles. Many of his comments, though couched in a matter-of-fact tone, are questionable speculations, some valid, others not. For instance, Cornish claims that "homosexuals" are prone to AIDS "largely because of the great frequency with which they change sexual partners," though he neglects to mention that female homosexuals, long noted for their lack of promiscuity, are...
April 19, 2006 | Michelle Keller, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles woman is being treated for bubonic plague, the first case of the age-old pestilence in the county since 1984, health officials announced Tuesday. The infected patient, whose identity was withheld, came down with symptoms last week and continues to be treated in a hospital for the disease, which is characterized by swollen, black lumps under the skin, officials said. She may have contracted the disease from fleas in the area around her Country Club Park neighborhood.
By the middle of the 6th century, the Emperor Justinian had spread his Byzantine Empire around the rim of the Mediterranean and throughout Europe, laying the groundwork for what he hoped would be a long-lived dynasty. His dreams were shattered when disease-bearing mice from lower Egypt reached the harbor town of Pelusium in AD 540. From there, the devastating disease spread to Alexandria and, by ship, to Constantinople, Justinian's capital, before surging throughout his empire.
Veterinarian Barbara Swanson didn't think much about it when the sweet, sick cat she was treating for an infection bit her on the thumb. Four days later, a high fever and intense pain in her arm sent her to the hospital. The diagnosis: bubonic plague. Esther Morrison thought her 70-year-old husband had overexerted himself when he stopped splitting wood, complained of stomach pain and told her not to count on him for supper. Two days later, he was dead. The diagnosis: septicemic plague.
August 31, 2008 | Cory Booker,John Doerr and Ted Mitchell, Cory Booker is the mayor of Newark, N.J. John Doerr is a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Ted Mitchell is chief executive of NewSchools Venture Fund and president of the California Board of Education.
In the summer of 1918, as tuberculosis, bubonic plague and a flu pandemic threatened America's newly crowded cities, the chemist Charles Holmes Herty took a walk through New York City with his colleague J.R. Bailey. Herty posed a question: Suppose Bailey discovered an exceptionally powerful medicine. What institution would allow him to take his breakthrough from lab experiment to widespread cure? Bailey replied, "I don't know." That alarming answer moved Herty to propose a visionary solution -- an institution that would encourage research and development throughout the country.
December 10, 2007 | Elena Conis, Special to The Times
Each year in the western U.S., a handful of people come down with the plague, catching the ancient disease from animals (often rodents) that harbor the bacteria. A National Park Service employee recently died of the disease, and an Arizona woman became infected but survived. Today, such cases get little press. But in ancient times, the plague evoked intense fear, panic and chaos -- for good reason.
September 16, 1996 | GEORGE SKELTON
Unable to resist, I turned off U.S. 101 at Refugio Beach 23 miles north of Santa Barbara and headed up the canyon. One more time on the narrow, winding road under oaks and elms, past lemon and avocado groves, over six creek beds and two cattle guards, up seven steep miles to the iron gate painted camouflage green. Last ranch below the 2,250-foot summit. Unlock the chain and drive onto "Pennsylvania Avenue," as the owner years ago dubbed his private road.
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