The Black Death – By Isaac Purdie

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The Black Death (A.K.A . the bubonic plague), was a horrifying epidemic killing approximately 25 million people within the space of 5 years. It was called the bubonic plague because of the dark ‘buboes’ that appeared on the neck, under the arm pits, and on the upper thigh and groin area. The plague was caused by infected fleas that were transported by rats all over Europe. The unsanitary streets attracted the infested rats, causing the disease to be transported into those peoples towns.

How did people try to deal with the Black Plague?

People from the middle ages had very bad sanitation and health. They did not know much about sickness or what caused it. The doctors from the middle ages did not know much about science or about any diseases. The doctors thought of many different cures for the Black Death, but none cured the victims at all. The medicine that was used in the fourteenth century was very limited and was mainly based on concepts and religion. Many believed that the plague was a punishment from God. They thought they had to confess and please him to become well again. Most medicines were made from herbs and spices, and also animal products. Many people thought that the plague came from the bad smelling air, Therefore they often carried bunches of flowers and herbs to keep the germ away. Some Doctors caused their patients bleed out their blood, so that the patient would have cleaner blood, without diseases. They also thought that sounds could ward off the plague, so people made as much sound as possible. Because nobody knew what caused the disease, they didn’t know how to treat it. Most people also tried to burst their boils. Some people also cleaned the streets, which was actually the right thing to do.

Why is the Black Death not a problem today?

Most citizens today believe that the Black death has been destroyed. But in actual fact, there are still many cases of the Black Death today. The bacteria that was carried by fleas in the middle ages is still around today. The Black Death is still a very real threat to people in poor, third-world, or just unsanitary countries/areas, like China, Mongolia, Africa, and many more. Today, modern research and science has found cures to the Black Death. Although the plague can still be deadly, many measures are now taken to prevent the epidemic happening again. Most people now have access to doctors, who can give the patient antibiotics, and many other medicines to cure the disease. Most outbreaks of the plague can easily be prevented by just being sanitary and keeping clean.

When did the Black Death occur?

The Black Death occurred within the middle ages, in Fourteenth Century. The main outbreak lasted from 1347 -1352, but the plague mainly effect England from 1348 to 1350. Most people back then had bad hygiene and that’s why the epidemic spread so quickly and so vast.

Why were so many people affected?

So many people were impacted because most people lived in very crammed and tight spaces. This also made waste disposal an issue, which caused people to just tip their waste out the window of their home, bringing the rats. Because everyone was so close, the fleas could easily infect many people in a day, meaning that nobody could hide from the infection. Some people that did not die from the plague had immune systems that could withstand the plague.

Bibliography

http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/black-death.htm

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/black_death_of_1348_to_1350.htm

http://historymedren.about.com/od/theblackdeath/p/blackdeath.htm

http://www.themiddleages.net/plague.html

http://www.historytoday.com/ole-j-benedictow/black-death-greatest-catastrophe-ever

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