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The Black Death Essay

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A plague is a bacterial infection that can take on more than one form. One of the greatest plagues that have stricken mankind throughout history was the Black Death. The Black Death was the outbreak of the bubonic plague that struck Europe and the Mediterranean area between 1347 and 1351. This plague was the most severe plague that hit the earth because of its origin (the spread), the symptoms, and the effects of the plague.
Scientists and historians are still unsure about the origins of the bubonic plague. Medieval European writers believed that it began in China, which they considered to be a land of almost magical happenings. Chroniclers wrote that it began with earthquakes, fire falling from the sky, and
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The pulse rate and respiration rate are increased, and the victim becomes exhausted and apathetic. The buboes swell until they approximate a chicken egg in size. In nonfatal cases, the temperature begins to fall in about five days, and approaches normal in about two weeks. In fatal cases, death results in about four days. In primary pneumonic plague, the sputum is at first slimy and tinted with blood; it later becomes free-flowing and bright red. Death occurs in most cases two or three days after the first appearance of symptoms. In primary septicemic plague, the victim has a sudden onset of high fever and turns deep purple in several hours, often dying within the same day that symptoms first develop. The purple color, which appears in all plague victims during their last hours, is due to respiratory failure; the popular name Black Death that is applied to the disease is derived from this symptom.
The Black Death and the other epidemics of bubonic plague had many consequences. One was a series of vicious attacks on Jews, lepers, and outsiders who were accused of deliberately poisoning the water or the air. The attacks began in the south of France, but were most dramatic in parts of Switzerland and Germany—areas with a long history of attacks on local Jewish communities. Massacres in Bern were typical of this pattern: After weeks of fearful tension, Jews were rounded up and burned or drowned in marshes. Sometimes there were attacks
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