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The Plague Rebecca Hattar & Alexandra Cizek

How It Started: ď ś The Black Death appeared in Europe in October 1347 when 12 Genoese trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina after a trip through the Black Sea. ď ś By the time the ship docked, most of the sailors aboard were dead, and those who were still alive were gravely ill.

They were covered in mysterious black boils that oozed blood and pus and gave their illness its name: the “Black Death.”

Over the next five years, the mysterious Black Death would kill more than 20 million people in Europe–almost onethird of the continent’s population.

The Plague: Bubonic ●

What is the Bubonic Plaque?

Bubonic plague, also known as the Black Plaque is a serious, sometimes fatal, infection from the bacterial toxin Yersinia pestis.  Transmitted by fleas from infected rodents. ● It is characterized by high fever, weakness, and the formation of buboes, a swollen lymph node, especially found in the groin and armpits. ●

Where the Black Plague started:

ď ś The Black Death is thought to have originated in the dry plains of central Asia, where it then travelled along the Silk Road, reaching the Crimea by 1346.


From there, it was most likely carried by oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships

Why did the bubonic plague spread so quickly?  In towns and cities, people lived very close together and they knew nothing about contagious diseases.  The disposal of bodies was very crude and helped to spread the disease still further as those who handled the dead bodies did not protect themselves in any way.

The filth that littered streets gave rats the perfect environment to breed and increase their number. It is commonly thought that it was the rats that caused the disease. This is not true – the fleas did this. However, it was the rats that enabled the disease to spread very quickly and the filth in the streets of the towns and cities did not help to stop the spread of the disease.

Medical Stances Physical changes (symptoms) develop with in 3-7 days of exposure to the plague. One will develop flu like symptoms:  Black spots on the skin caused by decaying tissue.  Chills/Fever  Malaise  Headache  Muscle pain  Seizures


Medications and Cures

e were no cures for this disease

y people believed that by covering your th, you would keep from getting ill so, people ld wear long beak like masks that contained ourri to keep the stench of rotting bodies in street from making them ill.

icians relied on simple and unsophisticated niques such as bloodletting and boil-lancing superstitious practices such as burning aromatic s and bathing in rosewater or vinegar were to cure the plague.

Impact on Society


ds went unplowed, as the men who usually did work were victims of the disease. vests would not have been brought in, as the npower did practically not exist. mals would have been lost or died off seeing as people in a village would not have been und to tend them.

Religious Views

people believed that the Black Death was a kind of e punishment–retribution for sins against God such as d, blasphemy, heresy, fornication and worldliness. By this the only way to overcome the plague was to win God’s veness. people believed that the way to do this was to purge communities of heretics and other troublemakers–so, for ple, many thousands of Jews were massacred in 1348 349.

k of medical knowledge meant that people tried thing to help them escape the disease. One of the more eme was the flagellants’. These people wanted to show r love of God by whipping themselves, hoping that God uld forgive them their sins and that they would be red from the Black Death.

Statistics â—?

In four years, from 1347 to 1351, THE BLACK DEATH KILLED AN ESTIMATED 75 MILLION PEOPLE. Of this, 25 million people in Europe alone perished, nearly one-third of the population of the continent. No disease has ever killed as many people, before or since.

The Plague: Septicemic

This is the second most common type of Plague. There are only a few differences between The Septicemic and Bubonic Plague.

History of the Plague

icemic plague occurs when plague bacteria multiply e blood. It can be a complication of pneumonic or onic plague or it can occur by itself. When it occurs e, it is caused in the same ways as bubonic plague; ever, buboes do not develop.

Physical and â—? Internal Changes â—?

nts develop fever, chills, extreme weakness, abdominal shock, and possibly bleeding into the skin and other ns. and other tissues may turn black and die, especially on s, toes, and the nose. emic plague can occur as the first symptoms of plague, y develop from untreated bubonic plague.

The Plague: Pneumonic

ď ś The Pneumonic Plague is very similar to the Bubonic Plague. There are very few differences between the two types of Plague.

ď ś Pneumonic plague occurs when Yersinia pestis infects the lungs.


This type of plague can spread from person to person through the air. Transmission can take place if someone breathes in the bacterial pollutants.

ients develop fever, headache, akness, and a rapidly developing eumonia with shortness of breath, est pain, cough, and sometimes bloody watery mucous.

umonic plague is the most serious form of the ease and is the only form of plague that can spread from person to person (by infectious plets).

Life After The Plague


Because so many people had died during the plague, villages were very scarce with people and little life remained. â—?

With such a small amount of people left, their labor was high in demand and therefore left them with much work to be done and money to be

The Black Death epidemic had run its course by the early 1350s, but the plague reappeared every few generations for centuries.

Modern sanitation and public-health practices have greatly mitigated the impact of the disease but have not eliminated it.

Works Cited "Plague: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. "Plague." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. "The Black Death: Bubonic Plague." The Black Death: Bubonic Plague. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.


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