How Did The Manchurian Plague Affect Politics

Decent Essays
In October 1910, a mysterious plague broke out in Manchuria, causing great terror due to its exceptional communicability. This Manchurian plague had unprecedented characteristic. In other word, this plague was pneumonic plague. Being a complete novelty, this plague had a crucial effect on medicine and politics in China.
First, turning to the effect on medicine, this plague was the beginning of the infectious disease in China. It is true that Chinese term chuanran was regularly used. However, in the concept of chuanren, epidemic disease were transmitted by local qi entering people’s bodies through the nostrils and mouth. In other words, the Chinese did not know infectious disease, that is, an acute and widespread epidemic that was transmitted
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Wu established the concept of infectious disease in China. He observed the novel fact by microscope that bacillus pestis found exclusively in the victim’s lung. This meant that not local qi but this bacilli caused Manchurian plague and that this bacilli were transmitted directly thorough person-to-person contact. Due to this discovery and the real experience of those who were physically involved with handling the sick, people became convinced of the contagious nature of Manchurian plague. Thus, Chinese first recognized infectious disease, thorough coping with Manchurian plague.
Then, turning to the effect on politics, geopolitical context in Manchuria was important. In those days, Japan and Russia were trying to gain sovereignty over Manchuria and they would use plague containment as an excuse their influence over Manchuria. Therefore, it was necessary for Qing to take initiative in coping with Manchurian plague.
Again, Dr. Wu’s said discovery played a crucial role. This discovery was a scientific victory over Japan and Russia that were only concerned about rats and bubonic plague. Thanks to this victory, Dr. Wu served as chairman of the International Plague Conference and Qing was able to take initiative, moreover, sovereignty over Manchuria. Thus, Manchurian plague resolved the sovereignty struggle over
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