(Minghui.org) It is widely believed that plagues are indiscriminately contagious. When a breakout occurs, the simplest and most effective way to keep it under control is to separate the uninfected from the sources of infection.

However, there are always some unusual phenomena. Historian Evagrius, a witness to the Justinian Plague, left an account that reveals some facts of contagion: “Some perished by merely living with the infected, others by only touching them, others by having entered their chamber, others by frequenting public places. Some, having fled from the infected cities, escaped themselves, but imparted the disease to the healthy…. Some, although living with the infected and having contact with the perished, were not infected at all.

“Some, too, who were desirous of death on account of the loss of all their children and friends, and with this view, placed themselves as much as possible in contact with the diseased, were nevertheless not infected; as if the pestilence struggled against their purpose.”

According to historian Procopius (around 500-565), after a healthy person was infected by the disease, and when he was having a sudden low fever, he would see things like devils and ghosts. 

John of Ephesus's recount in Church History is very similar, in which he described that an infected person would first become highly delusional and see black headless ghosts, then he would have enlarged lymph glands or develop black pustules. People with black pustules would die on the same day.

What the ancient Romans called ghosts might well be ghosts of the underworld referred to by the Chinese people. 

During the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, a young man named Shi Daonan in Zhaozhou, Yunnan, wrote a poem titled “Deaths of Rats” during a bubonic plague epidemic. One line reads, “Man and ghost are one, while the spirit is taken from a human being!”

There was a rampant plague in the northeastern region of China towards the end of the Qing Dynasty. According to an investigation by Dr. Wu Liande, (Wu Lien-teh 1879-1960), the first scientist to study immunology in China, the source of the disease actually came from groundhogs.

Since the skin and fur color of groundhogs are very similar to that of sables, many corrupt businessmen sold groundhog pelts as sables. When the bubonic plague broke out in northeastern China in 1910, there were 2.5 million groundhog skins on the market.


Procopius - a prominent Byzantium historian and contemporary of Emperor Justinian. His works include History of the Wars, Secret History, and others.

Dr. Wu Liande (Wu Lien-teh)- born in Penang. Malaya, a graduate of Emmanuel College, the University of Cambridge, and a renowned public health scientist and the forerunner of China's modern medicine