Could the Black Death strike again? Fears after scientists link two plagues that occurred 800 years apart


*]Scientists in Arizona warned that pandemics can evolve and return
*]Studied bacteria from ancient skeletons to recreate disease bacteria


Could the Black Death strike again? Yes.


Having visited the Badlands of South Dakota
and seen with my own eyes
prairie dogs infected with bubonic plague …
the answer is yes.


A handful of people contract the Bubonic plague each year. It could definitely return as a pandemic. At the same time, the reason why it hasn’t has to do with hygiene and pest control.


A small number of people each year are infected with various forms of the plague. However, I doubt it would ever reach epidemic proportions because it is a bacterial illness which is susceptible to modern antibiotics.


And the advent of antibiotics that did not exist in the Middle Ages.


Considering all the concerns about resistent bacteria - MRSA for example - I wouldn’t put too much faith in antibiotics to completely restrain the plague. Hygenie and the fact that most (many?) people don’t live around rats and pests anymore will be more likey to stop/slow the spread.


However, the plague is at this time, not resistant to antibiotics, and since there are so few people who get the plague, I am not worried about the plague developing antibiotic resistance (unless it learns to jump to livestock in which it would be more exposed to antibiotics).


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit