The Plague Of The Black Death

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Introduction: Throughout history, infectious diseases have impacted communities around the world. Outbreaks of bacteria and viruses in the past have damaged cities and devastated populations. Over the years, new developments in technology have led to advances in medicine and health. The great strides that have been made over the years have helped improve the lives of individuals and have led to a better environment. This paper will follow some of the major epidemics in world history. It will demonstrate how the treatments of patients in the past have changed over time. The major diseases that took out a majority of the world’s populations are now curable and the diseases are now regulated. The paper will begin with the most iconic…show more content…
People called the plague the “Black Death” because the victim would produce black spots on the skin. There were two forms of the plague. The most common was the bubonic, where swellings or buboes would appear on a victim 's neck, armpits or groin (Yell 347). These swellings would range in size from that of an egg to that of an apple (Yell 346). People who had this form had a life expectancy of up to a week. The second form was the pneumonic plague. This form attacked the respiratory system and was spread by merely breathing the exhaled air of a victim (Yell 346). The life expectancy for people with this form was one or two days. Since there was no accurate knowledge about the disease or how it was spread, the desperate victims came up with multiple cures that they felt would work. The first assumed cure for the disease was a vinegar and water treatment. If a person got the disease, they had to be washed with vinegar and rose water and put to bed (Benedictow 45). Another cure that existed at that time was lancing the buboes. Since the swellings were associated with the Black Death, people thought that an easy way for the disease to leave the body was by cutting them open. According to Ole Benedictow, “A mixture of tree resin, roots of white lilies and dried human excrement would then be applied to the places where the body has been cut open” (Benedictow 45). Most people believed that the disease was flowing in
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