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The Black Death

Topic: Health , History
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From 1340-1740 the plague raged in Europe. Approximately 15 million people died, (about a third of the population of the future). The Black Death was a disease that broke out in the 1300s, the disease was transferred by a virus that sat on fleas living on rats.

I chose to write about the Black Death because it's something I've long wondered how it really was, how it broke out and why. I think there are more people than me who have wondered and wondered how this disease would come to affect many people in Europe.


The purpose of this paper is to find out how the Black Death broke out, why and when, but also what happened to the people who were affected. In this paper, I even find out if it was really plague fleas that spread the disease.


• How and why erupted Black Death?
• When erupted Black Death?
• What are the different forms of the disease, there were, and what happened to the people who were affected?
• Was it really plague fleas that spread the disease?

How broke the Black Death?

The Black Death broke out of a bacterium that sat on the fleas that lived on various rodents, especially rats, but also contemporary hamsters and squirrels. When the rats died out, they sought bacterial infected fleas any other food source, the food source was other animals and humans.

The bacteria were transferred by the rats through close contact with such people and other animals, but it was transmitted mainly via the plague flea Xenopsylla cheopis. Today it is about 250 different species of animals, (mostly rodents) that had been able to transfer the infection to humans.

So spread the Black Death

The plague ravaged Europe in the 1340s to the 1740s. The Black Death arrived in Europe probably from the city of Kaffa in the Crimea.

Kaffa was siege of a mongolhär, kiptjakkhanen Jambeg led mongolhären. The plague broke out first in 1346 in the enemy army, the Christian population saw their salvation in death that hit the enemy and did so they could not continue the war. Before they retreated resorted Jambeg a bacteriological warfare, probably the first time in history. Jambeg hurled pestlik using catapults over the city walls, the plague had come in through the walls.

The plague began to spread to northern Europe. From Sicily spread the plague quickly against Italy, and from there further north and west. In the west and spreads the plague to Spain and then turned north. The plague came to France / Marseille 1 / 11- 1347. After about two months, it arrived at the then Pope city of Avignon, where the plague broke out first in a monastery. In the summer of 1348 came the plague until Paris. England had large areas south of the canal at Calais, which was hit by the plague, which then spread across the Channel to England. The plague spread further from France eastward toward Germany and the Netherlands.

So spread the Black Death to the north

The first Nordic country that was ravaged by the plague was Norway. In 1349 in the summer, arrived a merchant that belonged to his covenant that sailed from England to Bergen is a Norwegian municipality. It was not clear if any of the ship was alive when it came to the mountains. The Norwegians who unloaded the ship quickly became victims of the plague, and brought the infection with them into the country.

1350 spring had the plague spread to Sweden. In 1348 an English ship beached on the west coast of Jutland. The crew of the ship loaded in the country the goods that were plague-stricken and so the plague came to Jutland.
In 1349 had the plague spread throughout Denmark, where it met a pest wave from Germany was heading north. From Germany spread the plague to Russia.

Map plague spread in Europe.

What were the different forms of plague?

There were three different forms of plague, pneumonic plague, blood pestilence and plague. Bubonic plague was not as deadly as lung plague but was much more contagious. A man who become infected with bubonic plague was not the smittospridaren but it was the plague fleas and rats. In pneumonic plague was the man who was smittospridaren.

The symptoms you had the bubonic plague was large boils all over his body with was, in some cases, the abscesses be as large as apples. Bubonic plague was as I say not as deadly as the other forms of the plague, about 80% of the victims died.

The symptoms you had blood plague was dark spots on the body resembling bruises but slightly darker and considerably larger, all the people who were affected by blood plague died.

The people who were affected by pneumonic plague began coughing up blood and passed away shortly. The first signs of plague was feeling cold and stiffness, and also a tingling sensation, then felt it hit a burning heat. What happened then was that there began to emerge a hard boil usually in the groin or the armpit. Boils were black and consisted of pus and blood. In the next phase began to arise black spots on the skin of internal bleeding. The victim suffered very difficult and died as Norma load within five days.

Was it really plague fleas that spread the disease?

Some scientists believe that the plague was actually an outbreak of anthrax, which is a very serious infection syndrome.

Traces of anthrax in mass graves and plague in Iceland even though they are no rats there. The question is whether it really was the pestilence that hit half the population of Europe.

Several researchers suggest that the plague was actually an epidemic of anthrax, possibly hemorrhagic fever resembling a clue about Ebola.

It has not been proven that it was Yersinia pestis that caused the Black Death, but there has not been anything that speaks to the contrary. It has been attempted to take DNA samples of bone remains from pestlik but tests have not shown anything.

So like the plague described in the writings of the Middle Ages is not consistent with how the plague looks today, another good reason to doubt plague bacterium.

Researchers have primarily been trying to find information on the mass mortality of rats, which would be quite natural if it would move if the plague.

The symptoms suffered by those who were plague-stricken, there are certain similarities with Ebola haemorrhagic fever.

One thing is for sure. In the Middle Ages were all convinced that they had been hit by the plague and that it was the rats that were andledningen to this.

Final discussion

There are different opinions about the Black Death, but I've still got answers to some of my questions. I personally do not absolutely that it was Yersinia pestis that caused the Black Death because there are different opinions about this.

Now I know almost all the ones I wanted to get the answers and I do not regret a second that I chose to write about the Black Death, which is a very interesting topic to write about, it's not like I get tired of the Black Death, and would even be able to read more about it.

The last issue I had, I have not really got an answer on, it was so different views on this particular issue, nowadays do not think scientists that it was Yersinia pestis was the cause of the plague, but in the Middle Ages were all absolutely certain that they become victims of the plague because of the rats. I myself believe in full to the researchers.

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