The Black Death Essay

1005 Words Apr 20th, 2015 null Page
The Black Death The Black Death was a pandemic that wiped though medieval England. It was estimated that this pandemic of the plague, the second pandemic of this disease, killed about 1.5 million people between the years of 1348 and 1350. During this time frame there was very little medical knowledge. Even less known about the “plague”. The bubonic plague is caused by a rod-shaped bacillus called Yersinia pestis. Yersinia pestis is a bacteria that is carried by rats. Most rats have an immunity to this bacteria. However a flea does not. Instead the flea dying from consuming the blood of a rat with the bacteria, it is just inhibited from digesting the blood. So when a flea bites a host, any being able to carry the bacteria, it regurgitates its stomach contents. Then it begins to suck the blood of the host. This is how the flea feeds. Due to this behavior, a flea can transmit the bacteria and essentially the disease to a range of host, such as: other rats, mice, camels, prairie dogs, rabbits, squirrels and humans. The most dangerous of these during this time was the rat. Rats were the primary carrier of fleas that came in contact with humans. It was very common for rats to be around, because sanitation was not a high priority. With bubonic plague you start to have massive flu like symptoms at first. The typical fever, headache, chills, and weakness. However unlike the flu your lymph nodes start to swell significantly. These swollen nodes are then called buboes. These buboes…

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