The Black Death is the name of a terrible bacterial disease that spread throughout
1348 to 1352. There was no cure for the disease and It was highly contagious.
The plague originated in
and travelled westward along the Silk Road,
which was a trade route that went from to China Eastern
Europe. Cities were the most affected because the population was
dense and the disease was carried by fleas and rats. Although people had
different points of view, for example, historians thought that black rats
living on European merchantships caught the disease and eventually brought it
to Europe. Other people believed that It was a
punishment of God, some scientists thought it was a bacteria called Yersinia Pestis, the thing which
marks the beginning of the disease. The rest realized that pockets of bad air
released by earthquakes caused it and another amount of people blamed the Jews
for bringing it to kill Christians.
It is hard to imagine how scary life was in the Middle Ages during the Black Death. It killed at least one third of the population in
Europe, and probably more.
Mortality was extremely high because the population at the time was badly
nourished, and did not live in hygienic conditions.
In almost all cases the plague was contagious by transmission, which means that if an animal or person who had the Black Death touched you, you would get infected. The main symptoms were: high fever, shivering and swelling of the neck. If you presented this, it meant you were infected and you would surely die after a few days. To be completely sure, a health care provider diagnosed you by doing laboratory tests on blood or on fluid from a lymph node.
It was so destructive that It become known as the Black Death. Also because of how the skin turned dark at the late stages of the disease, but It was more likely called “Black” to reflect the dark and horrible time in history.
As you might expect, there was panic and many people were sure it was the end of the world. Their solution was to lock their doors and try to hide hide in their houses, but the plague expanded everywhere. In the face of despair, they burned down houses or even villages to try to stop this disaster.
Much of the infrastructure of
was gone in 1490. When the Black Death finally subsided, it took around 150
years for Europe to rebuild.