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The Black Plague By: Brian German And Jennifer Gaudet.

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1 The Black Plague By: Brian German And Jennifer Gaudet

2 The cause of the plague It was caused by infected rodents that were carrying “Pasteurella pestis." It’s an infectious disease that is transmitted when the infected rodent comes in contact with human beings. The plague was brought on usually by a rat or flea bite. The plague originated on the northern coast of the Black Sea where Indians had been trading colonies. Often in the winter the plague came about because small rodents were looking for warm places to live, they chose peoples home. That whole family would be infected with the plague, and sooner or later the whole village or town would be infected. The Black Plague was responsible for millions of deaths. Most of the deaths recorded were in Europe.

3 Who or what was effected by the plague? The plague effected people on the northern coast of the Black sea. In 1346 it had reached Crimea, once the disease had reached Turkey and the Mediterranean and then into the rest of Europe, but it had taken on a more aggressive form. It reached Sicily in 1346, Italy in early 1347, and towards the end of 1347 was in Marseilles, France. In 1348 it attacked Spain and spread throughout Germany and France. Early that same year the disease came to London, by 1349 was in Oxford and spread throughout England where it was present until 1359. Scotland was affected somewhat later. It is estimated the roughly about 25 million people died from the Black plague.

4 Symptoms of the plague The symptoms were described as: convulsions followed by a rise of temperature, with vomiting, headache, giddiness, intolerance to light, pain in the lower abdomen, back and limbs, sleeplessness, apathy and delirium. The body temperature varied greatly from 101º- 107º but fell two or three degrees on the second or third day. The headache was described as splitting and the deliriousness similar to the DTs (delirium tremens), resulting from extreme drunkenness. The eyes became red; the tongue swelled and became covered with a white fur except on the tip. Later the tongue became dry and the fur turned yellow or brown. Constipation was the rule but there might be diarrhea — an even worse sign. A characteristic symptom in severe cases was that the patient appeared dazed and stupid, staggered and had slurred speech. The patient might die within 24 hours, but more commonly death occurred on the second or third day. Recovery was very rare.

5 The effects In Europe is plague was known as “the black death", because of the discoloration of the skin, and the black tumors that occurred on the second day of the plague. The tumors were mostly in the groin area, in most cases the person would die with in 24 hours. The plague was also know as the “poor plague” because the first ones occurred in poorer parts of the towns.

6 Ring around the rosy connected to the plague? The child’s song “Ring around the rosy” is said to have a connection to the plague: “Ring around the rosy” – Rose-colored areas of skin. “Pocket full of posies”- Sweet-smelling flowers that those tending the sick would carry to ward off the stench of disease. Ashes ashes”- Impending death (or the sneezing and coughing of the plague). “All fall down”- Death.

7 What was done to help stop it? Efforts were made to stop the plague from spreading; towns blockaded themselves, turning away travelers and refugees, but all it took for it to spread was one person to slip by. In the countryside it tended to work in pockets, missing some villages altogether and wiping out most of the population of others. In the towns the death rate ran at about 30%, whilst some villages were abandoned, the survivors fleeing, creating "deserted villages".

8 Outlandish cures 1. Sit next to a blazing hot fire (as the Pope did) right through the hot summer of 1348. 2. Live in a house sheltered from the wind, and close all the doors and windows. 3. "The swellings should be softened with figs and cooked onions mixed with yeast and butter." Guy de Chaulliac 4. "Toads should be thoroughly dried in the sun, then laid on the boil. The toad will swell and draw the poison into its own body. When it is full, it should be thrown away and a new one applied." (A doctor's advice) 5. "All human excrement and other filth lying in the city is to be removed." Letter from Edward III to the Lord Mayor of London, 1349. 6. "Consume a medicine made from boiled onions and the gall bladder of a hare." (Another doctor's advice)

9 What could have been done to prevent this? If the countries that were effected had any idea that the Black Plague would be moving their way, and how it was contracted the could have been a few things they could of done to prevent it. They could of tried to keep the rodent population down, have tighter security from the effected places not letting the people effected into other places that had yet to experience the plague. Even today there is no real cure for the black plague. Back then the government had medical workers to help prevent the plague, most of the medical workers quit and moved away because they feared that they might contract the disease.

10 Who could help those who were effected. The people who were struck by this disease there really wasn’t much the could be done for them, since there was no real cure for it. For the family and friends that had a loved one that had been stricken with the plague all they could do is wait, and pray that their loved one would hopefully pull through it.

11 “The “Dance of Death” by Hans Holbein the Young

12 Bibliography plague.htm


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