LA PLAGA DE JUSTINIANO (541-542)

  • Robin Germán Prieto Ortiz Hospital Central de la Policía HOCEN
Palabras clave: pandemia, plaga, peste, bubones, Justiniano, Imperio Bizantino

Resumen

A lo largo de la historia de la humanidad, las epidemias, plagas o pandemias, han diezmado a las civilizaciones, y han sido causantes de grandes cambios políticos y socioeconómicos. De acuerdo con la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), la Plaga de Justiniano (541-542) es la cuarta pandemia que más muertes ha causado (30-50 millones), después de la Peste Negra 1347-1351 (200 millones de muertos), la Viruela 1520 (56 millones de víctimas) y la Gripe Española 1918-1919 (40-50 millones de decesos). Hace cerca de quince siglos, el imperio Romano de Oriente (Bizantino) se vio azolado por una plaga que probablemente empezó en Asia, pero que, de acuerdo con los historiadores y escritores de la época, de quienes se conservan sus registros, empezó en África en el año 541, pasó a Constantinopla en el año 542, y se extendió posteriormente a toda Europa. La peste se presentó en oleadas, que ocurrieron en número de 20 durante los dos siglos siguientes. Se ha identificado a la bacteria Yersinia Pestis como el agente causal, probablemente transmitido por las pulgas a partir de las ratas, y se ha relacionado incluso con cambios climáticos documentados para la época. A partir de documentos históricos y de investigaciones contemporáneas en diferentes ámbitos, se presenta una revisión de “La Plaga de Justiniano”, y del comportamiento actual de la peste.

Biografía del autor/a

Robin Germán Prieto Ortiz, Hospital Central de la Policía HOCEN
MD. Especialista en Cirugía General. Especialista en Gastroenterología y Endoscopia Digestiva. Hospital Central de la Policía HOCEN. Centro de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas CEHYD SAS. Bogotá, Colombia.

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Publicado
2020-07-17
Sección
Historia de la Medicina