Essay about The Black Death

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The Black Death

The Black Death was undoubtedly one of the most devastating diseases
that occurred during the middle ages. The Black Death, also known as
the Bubonic Plague, was a world-wide epidemic that caused the death of
more than 20 million people throughout Europe (Velenzdas). The people
of this time period were clueless as to the cause of the plague, but
were well aware of the tell-tale symptoms that accompanied infection.
There were many "cures" for the outbreaks, however it is known that
only a small percentage proved successful. Although the Black Death is
deemed by many to be the most devastating pandemic in history, some
consider it to have ultimately led to the Renaissance by starting
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It is from
these lesions that the name, Bubonic Plague, was derived from. In
addition to the buboes, there was also much diarrhea and vomiting,
which resulted in severe dehydration. The final stage, which often
resulted in death, was respiratory failure (Cantor 12). It was known
that infected humans would suffer a near 90 percent death rate in less
than one week following exposure (Velenzdas).

The people of medieval Europe used seemingly ridiculous cures in
attempts to rectify the many symptoms of the plague. Many people
sought the advice of "witches" and herbalists to cure a family member
of the illness. Very few of these remedies proved to be successful,
such as controlling the flea population in human dwellings, and many
were often fatal. One extremely interesting thing to note is that
bathing, a practice which may have helped prevent spread of the
plague, was deemed dangerous by doctors during that time period due to
the fact it was believed it made it easier for one to be infected by
the plague (Cantor 23).

One shocking "cure" for the plague was placing objects such as a frog
or a pigeon without its tail feathers, on top of the sores. It was
expected that in doing this, the poisons in the body would be
transferred to the animal, which would then die…

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