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Medical Aspects Of The Black Plague

1039 words - 4 pages

Running head: Medical Aspects of the Black PlagueMedical aspects of the black plague 7Medical Aspects of the Black PlagueCarrie BuchalskiLuzerne County Community CollegeAbstractThis paper is an overview of the Medical Aspects of the Black Plague. Included in this essay regarding the black plague is the definition, causes, symptoms, pathophysiology, diagnosing techniques and treatment plans. Also included is an overview of where the Black Plague originated and a touch on its history. This is to give the reader a better knowledge of a disease that ran like wildfire and took the lives of many.Medical Aspects of the Black PlagueArriving in Europe in October 1347, the Black Plague was a largely misunderstood disease. The panic began when 12 Genoese trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina after a long journey through the Black Sea. Most of the sailors on board were found dead or gravely ill. They were covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus. They were all accosted by fever, chills, diarrhea and significant pain about their bodies. Before what they called the "death ships" arrived there were rumors about a terrible disease that was making its way through the near and far east. The people were significantly unprepared to what was to come.The Black Plague is defined as "the epidemic form of bubonic plague experienced during the Middle Ages when it killed nearly half the people of western Europe" (dictionary.reference) The symptoms of the Black Plague were relentless. It was said that the victim would start with a headache. Fever and chills left the host exhausted. Nausea, vomiting, back pain and soreness in the arms and legs were common. Twenty four to forty eight hours later, edematous areas would appear to the neck, inner thighs and under arms. Shortly after, the boils would turn black and ooze pus and blood.There were several types of known plague. Bubonic plague is a type of plague the cause "buboes" which were boils that grew in the areas of lymph nodes. The Pneumonic Plague had symptoms of chest pain, hemoptysis (coughing up blood) and extreme diaphoresis. "In almost all cases of the pneumonic form there weren't any survivors". (Snell, 2014 Para4) In Septicemic Plague the bacteria attacked the victim's blood stream. It inhibits the body's ability to clot and the victim essentially bleeds to death. The Enteric Plague affected the digestive system and the victims were killed before any notable diagnosis could be made.The bacteria the causes the Plague is called Yarsinea Pestits lives in rats. Some rats developed immunity to it. Once the fleas landed on a human and produced a bite, the flea would transmit the bacteria into the human blood. The pathophysiology of plague involves two phases-a cycle within the fleas and a cycle within humans.The flea obtains the bacteria from an infected rat. The bacteria affects the flea in a way that it blocks the stomach of the flea. The blockage causes the flea inability to feel "satisfied" after...

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