resrch ppr - The Black Death Through out history there have...

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-1 The Black Death Through out history there have been many reports of pandemics and epidemics that have killed vast numbers of people in numerous societies but none would compare to the numbers lost from one cause. From 1346-1353 Europe was hit with a devastating epidemic that would wipe out over one third its population and would change the face of its cities forever. The black death was an epidemic of the bubonic plague, a disease caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. That circulated among wild rodents where they lived in great numbers and density (Benedictow 42). There are three forms of the black death were transmitted two different ways. The bubonic plague was the most commonly seen form of the black death with a mortality rate of about 30 to 75 percent. The Pneumonic plague was the second most common type, with a mortality rate of 90-95 percent. This type differs from the other because it effects the lungs and made the victim cough up bloody sputum. The septicemic plague was the most rare of all with a mortality of almost 100 percent, in some cities as many as 800 would die in one day, even today there is no treatment for this strand. The symptoms were high fever and the skin turning a deep purple almost black color. This discoloration is how the black death would eventually get its name. The victims of this strand usually died the same day that the symptoms appeared. The septicemic and bubonic plagues were transmitted with direct contact with a flea (Loftus). Plague bacteria can break out of the buboes and be carried by the blood stream to the lungs(Benedictow 43). The Pneumonic was transmitted through airborne droplets of saliva coughed up by bubonic or septicemic infected people and animals. But those were only a small percent because it was not contracted easily (Benedictow 43). The pneumonic and septicemic plagues were seen less then the bubonic plague because the victims usually died before they could reach other places ( Loftus). For a long while no one knew how the disease was being spread across Europe. At the time, the cause of the disease was unknown and often attributed to supernatural causes or seen as
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the coming of the end of the world. Some thought it was brought to England from France when the wool trade was re-established after Edward III returned to England. It was later established that it was carried by infected rats and their fleas( Weinreb 67). “In order to become an epidemic the disease must be spread to other rat colonies and be transmitted to inhabitants in the same way.” Normally it takes
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course TRAD 104 taught by Professor Freeble during the Fall '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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resrch ppr - The Black Death Through out history there have...

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