The History Of The Black Plague, 13pg Research Paper Tracking Its Origins To Its Presence In The World Today With Bibliography

2778 words - 11 pages

Imagine 25 million people dying from one disease in just five years (McCabe 18). This disease would spread over thousands of miles unchecked and with no known treatment. No one would even know from where it came. People would constantly live in fear for their own existence. Friends and loved ones would die on a regular basis. Extreme and harsh measures would have to be taken to avoid infection. It is hard for people in our society to imagine such a specter. However, such a disease actually did turn these nightmares into a reality at one time in history.Although these ideas might seem preposterous, they actually did occur. This disease was the biggest killer out of any other disease known to humankind. One would assume that this disease has now been abolished off the face of the planet, but this is not the case. It still lives among people of the world today and there have been numerous outbreaks in recent years. Some countries' futures may in fact be in great danger if proper action is not taken to stop it (Marriot 2).This disease has come to be known as The Black Death or The Plague. The Plague saw its first major outbreak in 1347 on the island of Sicily (McCabe 18). At that time it was referred to as The Pestilence (Truitt 12). The people of Sicily were dumbfounded as to where this disease came from and how to treat it. Eventually it would grow out of control as it moved up into the mainland of Europe. Marichone di Coppo Stefani, writer of the Florentine chronicle, made this terrifying account of what he saw from the Black Death:Neither physicians nor medicines were effective. Whether because these illnesses were previously unknown or because physicians had not previously studied them, there seemed to be no cure. There was such a fear that no one seemed to know what to do. When it took hold in a house it often happened that no one remained who had not died. And it was not just that men and women died, but even sentient animals died. Dogs, cats, chickens, oxen, donkeys sheep showed the same symptoms and died of the same disease. And almost none, or very few, who showed these symptoms, were cured. The symptoms were the following: a bubo in the groin, where the thigh meets the trunk; or a small swelling under the armpit; sudden fever; spitting blood and saliva (and no one who spit blood survived it). It was such a frightful thing that when it got into a house, as was said, no one remained. Frightened people abandoned the house and fled to another. (Loftus et al.)Contrary to what most people believe, the Plague was never fully eradicated. There are still outbreaks of the Plague that occur throughout the world. However, vaccination can now be received to prevent infection. Yet, not everyone in the world can afford vaccination or has it readily available. The historic Black Death is still a part of life today.In 1894 Dr Alexandre Yersin first discovered the plague bacteria and named the bacteria Yersinia pestis (Marriot 2). In 1898 a French scientist...

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