The Pneumonic Plague: The Black Death

The Black Plague, also known as the Black Death, was declared as the “Greatest Catastrophe ever” (Benedictow). This disease swept over all of Europe and wiped out about one third of the population. This disease and its affects have been one of the biggest in history. The plague spread rapidly as it could be transmitted from person to person. The disease forever changed Europe’s history and population. The Black Death had huge effects on Europe based on how it spread, what the disease entailed, and its after-effects. Before the Black Plague even began there were other factors that contributed to the decline in population. In 1000-1300 AD the European population had outrageously doubled leaving the food production industry crashing. They …show more content…
The sick were treated as, “the enemy to avoid at all costs… People went as far as to abandon their own brothers, sisters, spouses, and even children if it meant a chance for survival” (Dunn 38). This disease created a serious divide in all of Europe. The mentality was truly every man for himself. The Black Plague’s symptoms and affect on people was horrific. There were multiple different strains of the plague: one the Bubonic strain, which was not as deadly and contagious. The second strain is the pneumonic strain; this strain heavily affected the person’s lungs causing them to spread the disease whenever they exhaled. There was also a lengthy list of other symptoms, “Chroniclers of the day listed the various symptoms of the illness such as difficulty breathing, spitting up blood, and the appearance of boils and dark patches on the skin. Oftentimes, the plague was accompanied with encephalitis or inflammation of the brain” (McGill). Some victims died in as soon as a few hours after contracting these symptoms, and others only survived six-seven days. The bubonic plague also attacked the lymphatic system and gave symptoms such as: fever, headache, chills, weakness, and swollen …show more content…
The pneumonic strain included chest pain, shortness of breath, and blood and or watery mucus. Unfortunately there was not a lot that doctors could do. Due to how airborne the disease was it was hard for those to be treated as they would spread it to whoever was treating them. Most cases led to death within just a few days. Other cases lasted longer but not much longer than a few weeks before the victims died. The Plague’s after effects were almost as disastrous as the disease itself. It brought division, abandonment, and loss of many lives. Families were separated into those who were sick and those who were not. People that were not sick would often leave town to get away from the diseased and go to uninfected towns. Many people and even children were abandoned as there was no saving those who were sick. People that were sick did not have anyone to take care of them or even to bury them when they were dead. Those who contracted the disease, or believed they were going to, often truly lived their days as their last. “Because people knew that they would not live long, they were more apt to spend money and purchase luxury items” (McGill). A lot of people wanted to let loose before

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