Black Death Essay

1007 Words Dec 8th, 2011 5 Pages
It started with a headache. Then chills and fever, which left him/her exhausted and reduced to extreme weakness. They likely experienced nausea, vomiting, back pain, soreness in their arms and legs. Perhaps intense light was too bright to stand. Within a day or two, the swellings appeared. They were hard, painful, burning lumps on their neck, under their arms, on their inner thighs. Soon they turned black, split open, and began to ooze pus and blood. They may have grown to the size of an orange. These are the symptoms of the Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. It is widely thought to have been an outbreak of bubonic plague, and during those dark times, it is …show more content…
The Tatars surrounded the city in November, yet soon the Black Plague struck and killed off many of the invaders. Before breaking off their attack, however, they catapulted dead plague victims into the city in the hopes of infecting its residents. In panic, the citizens at Caffa threw the bodies into the sea, but the plague had already infected residents and was spreading like wildfire… it was too late. As the inhabitants of Kaffa became infected, the merchants boarded ships to sail home. But they could not escape the plague. When they arrived in Genoa and Venice in January of 1348, almost all the crew was dead, and the survivors were in fear they may contract the disease.
The rapid spread of the plague can be contributed to the filthy conditions the people lived in during those times, especially in Europe. Showers or baths were rare, and if a person did wash themselves up, the water they washed themselves in was dirty. Rats who carried fleas (and the plague) scurried about the streets, and residents rarely if ever tried to kill or get rid of them. Many people wore the same clothes day after day, or lived in small houses with many people, so the disease was easy to catch. There was no FDA, food safety was never regulated, so the plague also spread in that way (the food was dirty and infected).
Like any disaster (man-made or natural) that wipes out a significant portion of a generation or generations of people, there is always speculation regarding "what…

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