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Overview of the plague in the late Ming Dynasty and its prevention and control measures

Traditional Medicine Research. 2020;5(3):136-144 DOI 10.12032/TMR20200222166


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Journal Title: Traditional Medicine Research

ISSN: 2413-3973 (Online)

Publisher: Hong Kong Gold Orchid Science and Technology Co., Limited

Society/Institution: Chinese Anti-Cancer Association

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Other systems of medicine: Miscellaneous systems and treatments

Country of publisher: China

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Qiu-Hua Li (The Second Hospital of Liaoning University of Chinese Medicine, Shenyang 110034, China.)

Yue-Hai Ma (The Second Hospital of Liaoning University of Chinese Medicine, Shenyang 110034, China.)

Ning Wang (The Second Hospital of Liaoning University of Chinese Medicine, Shenyang 110034, China.)

Ying Hu (Shengjing Hospital of China Medicine University, Shenyang 110004, China.)

Zhao-Zhe Liu (Northern Theater Command General Hospital, Shenyang 110016, China.)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 5 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The plague of the late Ming Dynasty (1551-1644 C.E.) was long lasting, affected a wide range of the population, and had serious consequences. The purpose of this study is to review the medical system in place at the time and the measures instituted to prevent and control the plague during the late Ming Dynasty. Information on the history of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 C.E.), local chronicles, and related research literature were consulted and analyzed in terms of duration, geographical area, and other dimensions of the epidemic. Because of the abnormal climate, wide range of natural disasters, and the impact of war, the epidemic spread over a wide area during the late Ming Dynasty. The government’s epidemic prevention measures were affected by war and other factors, resulting in poor control of the outbreak. However, in terms of the medical system in place during the Ming Dynasty, some of the thinking and methods of prevention and control of the plague were historical and progressive. Some outstanding physicians such as Wu Youke (1582-1652 C.E.) appeared during this period. His theory of plague prevention and control had a profound influence on the formation and development of pestilence deterrence in later generations. In the late Ming Dynasty, rich experiences and measures of prevention and control were accumulated in the struggle against the plague. These methods and experiences also have a significant, positive guiding influence on the prevention and control of plague in the present day.