Health & Medicine
The Black Death: Bubonic Plague
The Black Plague started out in China in the 1330’s.
Originally it only affected rodents, however it quickly spread to humans.
Caused painful swelling of the Buboes and caused spots on the skin that turned black.
The Black Death• Three Forms: The
Bubonic, Pneumonic, and Septicemic. Each killed people in different ways.
• Bubonic Plague: Mortality Rate: 30-75%. Symptoms: Enlarged or inflamed lymph nodes (Arm Pit, Neck and Groin).
The Pneumonic Plague was the second most commonly seen form of the Black Death. Mortality Rate: 90-95% (Today if Treated 5-10%)It infected the lungs, andthe symptoms included slimy snot tinted with blood!Many times victims choked on their own Blood (ew…).
Septicemic Plague• Most Rare form of all!• Mortality rate was close to 100%(Even
today there is no treatment)• Symptoms: High Fever and skin turning deep shades of purple!• Victims usually died the same day the symptoms appeared.
In October of 1347, several Italian merchant ships returned from the Black Sea.Docked in Sicily, many sailors were already dying of the plague. Within days the disease spread to the city. That was the beginning of the end!
An account of the devestation: (no need to copy)
Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them, the people quickly drove the Italians from their city. But the disease remained, and soon death was everywhere. Fathers abandoned their sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left to care for the sick, monastaries and converts were soon deserted, as they were stricken, too. Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them a Christian burial.
How Did It Affect So Many People?
The Italian writer Boccaccio said its victims often:“Ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise.”
In winter the disease seemed to disappear, but only because fleas are dormant then.
After Five years 25 million people were dead- One Third of Europe’s people!
Early TheoriesSome blamed invisible particles in the air.Some blamed poisoned wells.Many inevitably and unfairly blamed the Jews.
Will It Ever End?
• Bands of hooded men, wearing white robes marked front and back with a red cross, moved to and fro across Europe. They were attempting to atone for the ravages of the Black Death by whipping themselves in ritual public ceremonies.
• They are known as the Flagellant Brahren!
The Flagellant Brahren50 to 500 men in a groupsinging hymns and sobbing, the men beat themselves with scourges studded with iron spikes. Blood gushes from their many wounds, and the spikes embed themselves in the torn flesh.The ritual was performed in public twice a day!
So Who was the Culprit?
• Not her, That would
have been Syphilis!
• No, not her. That would have
The Oriental Rat Flea• Flea’s Mouth has two functions:
one for squirting saliva or partly digested blood into the bite, and one for sucking up blood
from the host.
This poses a problem!
How Is it Transmitted?
Could it get worse?Could it get worse?
•Prepare Prepare yourself!!yourself!!