The Black Plague

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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The Black Plague The Black Plague, also known as The Black Death, was the worst natural disaster in history that ran from 1347 until 1350. The historians believe that the cause of the Black Plague originated in central Asia, and was a combination of the bubonic, pneumonic, septicemic, and enteric plagues.

The bubonic plague got its name from the swelling of the lymph nodes called buboes. They were hard painful lumps that would show up on the neck, under the arms, and on the inner thigh. They would grow to the size of an orange, turn black, split open, and ooze pus and blood. The pneumonic plague didn't have the buboes, but the victim would suffer severe chest pains, sweat heavily, and cough up blood. The septicemic plague would infect a person via the blood stream. The victims of this form of the plague would die more swiftly often before symptoms could develop.

The last form or the plague, enteric, attacked the digestive system and like the septicemic, would kill the victim too quickly for symptoms could be diagnosed.

It is believed that the plague was brought in to their country from the travelers, but in reality it was the "cargo" that was being carried on the ships that brought the dreaded plague. Rats that were on the ships that sailed in and out of ports, and they carried the infected fleas. A flea, having ingested plague-infected blood from its host, can live for as long as a month away from the host before he needs to find another host to live on. When a blood-engorged flea attempts to draw blood from another victim, it invariably injects into that victim some of the blood already in it. if the injected blood contains the bacteria yersinia pestis, the result is...



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