Epidemiology of plague

Globally about 600 cases of plague are reported a year. In 2017 and November 2019 the countries with the most cases include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Peru.Local outbreaks of the plague are grouped into three plague pandemics, whereby the respective start and end dates and the assignment of some outbreaks to either pandemic are still subject to discussion. The pandemics were: the first plague pandemic from 541 to ~750, spreading from Egypt to the Mediterranean (starting with the Plague of Justinian) and northwestern Europe the second plague pandemic from ~1331 to ~1855, spreading from Central Asia to the Mediterranean and Europe (starting with the Black Death), and probably also to China the third plague pandemic from 1855 to 1960, spreading from China to various places around the world, notably India and the West Coast of the United States.However, the late medieval Black Death (roughly 1331 to 1353) is sometimes seen not as the start of the second, but as the end of the first pandemic – in that case, the first pandemic ended in around 1353, and the second pandemic's start would be about 1361. Also various end dates of the second pandemic are given in the literature, ranging from about 1840 to 1890.

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