Overview Of The Black Death Essay

1566 words - 6 pages

Across the sands of time, the world has experienced diseases and pestilences; however one stands alone as being the most devastating across the European nation. Imagine an illness that could sweep across Europe, killing one-third of the population and leaving a path of death and economical destruction in its wake; this devastation was known as the Black Death. In this paper the researcher will attempt to divulge how and where the illness began, who was affected, and what ramifications it had on the population, economy, and the ecologic system of the region. The researcher will attempt to divulge what the medical professionals did in order to combat the perilous epidemic known as the Black Death.
We can all agree that the Black Death was one of the worst disasters on record. What many cannot agree on however, is the cause of the Black Death. An Arabic chronicler as-Sulak spoke of Christians who had experienced the Black Death feared it was the end of the world, or simply God’s punishment to mankind (Lerner,R.). Others believed the fault lie in the hands of the Jews who infected the waters and corrupted the air (Sanders, et al., 2006). As a result, thousands of Jews were brutally massacred.
A known fact was that the Black Death, an epidemic of mass proportions infiltrated Europe around 1346 A.D. and no matter who the fault may lay upon, many lives was lost. The plague known as Black Death, derived from the bacterium Yersinia pestis (Sanders, et al., 2006). The bacterium was carried by rodents or rats and the fleas which fed off the rat’s blood. Rats are believed to be the culprit responsible for carrying the disease into Europe and throughout the surrounding areas. This is in fact due to the distinction of rat’s tendency to stow away on ships and their direct cohabitation with humans.
Around October 1347 ships pulled into the port of Messina in Sicily. Ships usually filled with spices and silks were instead found to be ridden with dead sailors. The few sailors that were left alive were covered in black boils oozing blood and pus, and the stench permeated the air (Martin, S.). Although the ships were driven back out to sea in a matter of just a few days, the damage had been rendered, the fate of the town was sealed, and it was too late. From Messina the ships drifted on, the infection permeating all those who came near, it was at this point that the Black Death arrived in Europe.
Yet the plague was not a new occurrence to Europe, as there had been sporadic outbreaks confined mainly to localized areas. The plague would not be sporadic this time around. Instead it spread unpredictably without control, across the entire continent. No one was spared in the path of the Black Death, the rich and the poor alike became victims to this massive plague (Martin, S.).
Looking at how the plague shifted from an endemic based solely on the rodent colonies, into the massive epidemic known as Black Death showed many similarities. The...

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