Black Death Essay

848 words - 4 pages

In the years 1331 to 1350 all of Europe broke out in an epidemic, called the Black Death. This terrible sickness murdered about one third of all the people in Europe, it spread, and killed quickly. People’s lives were changed drastically; they were scared to go outside in fear of catching the gross disease. The Black Death spread rapidly through Europe having significant impacts on society.
The Black Death started in China in 1331; it was then carried across the Asian caravan to southern Russia on merchant ships. In 1347, ships brought it to Italy. It then steadily spread throughout the rest of Europe. The bacteria,Yersinia Pestis, that caused the disease was carried in the stomach of a flea that lived on black rats or other small rodents. The Black Death is formally known as the Bubonic Plague, although there was three more variations of the Black Death, the Bubonic was the most prominent during these times. The living conditions of this time made it perfect breeding grounds for the rats, the streets were narrow, and filled with garbage, mud and human excrement. There was also a shortage in housing, causing six to eight people sleeping in one bed; this was a true fact for aristocratic families too. Personal hygiene was a problem too, water was contaminated so few people bathed, these conditions led to people being sick many having diarrhea which lowered people’s resistance to the disease.
People of this time always had body lice and fleas. After bitten by an infected flea, nearly all victims died within three days. The early symptoms were growths the size of nuts that could grow to the size of an apple on the legs, groin, armpit, and neck. The lumps started out being red then progressed into a dark purple or a black. There were other symptoms such as high fever, chills, internal bleeding, vomiting, muscle aches, coughing, and mental disorientation or delirium. If a person had the plague they had a strong urge to sleep which could end up being fatal. Many people experienced blood in their urine, and stool. They had blood pooling under their skin resulting in black boils, everything that came out of their body including urine, stool, vomit, and blood all smelled revolting. The only chance to become well again was to release the puss in the growths and boils; this remedy was not even a guaranteed fix. After all these symptoms would take place the victim of the plague would die.
The Black Death sent society as a whole into utter chaos. Because...

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