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Black Plague in Europe - Black Death

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Black Death is known to many people by many different names. Some refer to it as Black Death, while others refer to it as Black Plague or Black Plague of Europe. No matter what name it was referred to as, the effects were severe. During the fourteenth century, Europe was troubled with Black Death and it came to be known as the most inferior outbreak the world has ever experienced. The outbreak spread throughout different areas in less than four years and took the lives of more than seventy-five million people. The effects of Black Death in Europe were instantaneous, and caused almost all levels of society to take a turn for the worst.

The Bubonic Plague began in Europe in 1328 and lasted until 1351. Many others still continued to experience this outbreak in other areas for sixty years to follow. Black Death obtained its name from one of its symptoms, which turned the skin of the person who was suffering from the outbreak to the color black around areas that they were swollen. It has been said that the cause of this horrible disease was due to fleas that bit infected rats and eat the infected blood. Because the blood would be infected, the fleas would have to re gorge the blood into their next hosts which would of course be humans. It is believed that if the fleas and black rats had never made it to Europe then the outbreak would have never reached that area. Because Asia had already been hit with the plague it was quickly spread to Europe and then to other areas through different ports that traded with China and India. There was no cure for the disease and doctors were often known to fell because they did not want to catch the disastrous disease from their patients. Since anyone had yet to create a cure for the disease, the only thing that could be done was to treat the symptoms. "Black Death was treated by lancing the buboes(swelling) and applying a warm poultice of butter, onion, and garlic. Various other remedies were tried including arsenic, lily root and even dried toad" (http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/black-death.htm).

The Black Plague in Europe actually has three different variants. The most common form is known as the bubonic plague. This form is associated with swollen lymph nodes, headaches, nausea, fever that ranges from 100-105 degrees, aches, and vomiting. It would normally take up to seven days for a person to begin feeling symptoms of this version. The second version is called the pneumatic plague. This type affected the lungs and consisted of a mucus often with tints of blood that could be spotted in it. This particular version had a 90-95 percent death rate that was also connected with it. The closest comparison a person today could give it would be pneumonia that Americans suffer from today. The most rare version of this disease is called septicemic, and is the final version. This variant is the rarest because the host actually dies before having a chance to spread the disease.

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