Black Death Essay The History Of How It Began, The Symptoms, And More

811 words - 3 pages

Imagine a time when dead bodies littered the streets everywhere, cattle and livestock roamed the country unattended, and brother deserted brother. (Disease and History npag.) When the horrific Black Death struck numerous towns, this situation prevailed. Historians around the world are continually wondering how this terrible Black Death occurred and what happened to the society and its people inflicted by the plague.The Black Death was one of the worst natural disasters in history. In 1347 AD, this catastrophe swept over Europe and ravaged cities causing widespread hysteria and death. One third of the population died from the disease through transmission. There were four different means of transmission of infection. They were airborne, waterborne, direct contact, and vectors, which are insects that carry germs from one species to another. (Disease and History npag.) The main component of the Black Death was the Bubonic Plague in the 14th century, however people who lived through the tragedy called it the Great Dying or Pestilence. This Bubonic Plague swept through Europe, North Africa, and Asia, making it the most devastating epidemic in history. Europe was struck by the plague in October of 1347, as it was brought into the port of Messina, Sicily by a fleet of Genoese trading ships. This fleet came from a seaport, Kaffa, on the Crimean peninsula in modern-day Ukraine when traders were fleeing an army of Tatar warriors who laid siege to the city. (The Black Death 18) Oriental rat fleas that were carried on the back of black rats transmitted the Bubonic disease. These fleas were blood-sucking parasites that spread diseases to humans. Once the fleas drank the rat blood that carried the bacteria, the bacteria multiplied in the flea's gut. When the flea bit the human, it regurgitated the blood in the open wound, and the human became dangerously infected.Once the bacteria from rats contaminated the fleas, everyone became vulnerable. During the siege, the horrifying sickness struck the Tatar soldiers, and countless people died, the remaining survivors found no time to bury them, causing the bodies to be stacked against city walls. Regardless of the continuous decrease, the traders left without knowing that the common black rat was the host animal for the plague-bearing fleas, and the infected rats left Kaffa on the Genoese ships. By the time they reached Messina, all of the crew was already dead or dying, and the rats slipped unnoticed to the shore, expanding the trouble to Messina. The plague spread further when people fled to other cities,...

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