What was the cause of the Black Death? The Black Death is said to have been caused by a plague, which was an infectious illness caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. The illness was most likely spread from rodents to people by the biting of infected fleas. People became sick after being bitten by an insect that had fed on a rodent that had the disease.
In fact, scientists still aren't sure what virus or bacteria actually causes the plague. Some researchers think it may be something different than Yersinia pestis, such as Bacillus anthracis (the bacterium that causes anthrax). Other research has suggested that the plague may be caused by a toxin produced by Yersinia pestis. Still other studies have shown that the plague may be caused by another bacteria called Francisella tularensis. Finally, some scientists believe that the Black Death may have been caused by several different organisms in conjunction with one another.
The exact date that the first black death occurred is not known, but it's estimated to have started in Europe around 1347 and ended between 1603 and 1665. It's reported that half or more of all towns and villages in Europe were affected at some time during this period.
According to historical records the disease appeared suddenly and without warning. It killed adults and children, rich and poor, good farmers and bad farmers. There were no apparent symptoms prior to death.
The Black Death is largely assumed to have been the result of a plague caused by Yersinia pestis infection. As a result, the origins of current plague epidemics may be traced back to the medieval period. Other scientific data suggests that the Black Death was caused by a virus. What was the origin of the Black Death?
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in history. It killed an estimated 25 million people between 1347 and 1351. It is thought that this number might be higher if not for the fact that it took place at a time when there were no antibiotics to treat disease or vaccines for immunization against deadly infections.
The disease was named after the dark color of its skin lesions. The plague came to the attention of European doctors when it began killing large numbers of people in China. Because of this, it is believed that it originated in Asia but it is also possible that it arrived from Europe where many of the ships used by Chinese traders carried infected passengers or crew members.
The disease spread throughout China until local officials managed to contain it by building walls around cities to prevent infected animals from entering through wild animal markets. However, this effort failed because they didn't know what kind of virus it was or how to stop it. They just knew that it was very dangerous and needed to be contained immediately.
After this attempt at containment, more than enough time had passed for the disease to spread further across China.
The Black Death was a bubonic plague outbreak that swept over England in June 1348. It was the earliest and most severe symptom of the second pandemic, which was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The plague was transmitted by flea-infested rats and people who had been afflicted on the continent...
Deaths from the plague reached an estimated quarter of the British population. It is thought that more than half of London was killed.
People became afraid to bury their dead, causing mass graves to be dug for both animals and humans. This also prevented disease being spread even though many bodies were lying in one place.
There are many theories about why the plague was so devastating to Europe but not to Africa or Asia. Some say it was because of improvements made to farming techniques that allowed for better food storage and distribution. These include moving farms away from populated areas, using machinery instead of animal power, and growing certain crops such as corn and wheat instead of mostly eating vegetables.
Another theory is that Africa and Asia had natural defenses against bacteria that the plague virus mutated into something stronger. A third possibility is that the government of Europe at the time didn't do enough to help its citizens during the crisis. They let rural areas become overrun with dead bodies without burying them properly, which allowed for further infection via rat bites.
Finally, some scientists believe that the plague was more lethal than originally believed.
Modern genetic investigations show that the strain of Y. pestis is known to cause human illness. During that time, physicians had many ways to treat patients who were believed to be infected with the plague. They just didn't know much about genetics or how diseases are transmitted today so they relied on common sense and experience to make diagnoses and recommend treatments.
In general, physicians believed that demons or evil spirits were responsible for bringing on epidemic illnesses. The Black Death was no exception. Some people blamed the deaths on Jesus' crucifixion while others claimed that it was punishment from God for sexual immorality.
Medieval doctors had no idea what causes disease nor did they have any way to prevent people from getting sick. They did, however, have some ideas about what might bring on an epidemic. One possibility is that infected rats carried the bacteria into homes where they spread to humans through contact with their feces. If this is true, then killing the rats would help stop the spread of the disease.
Another possibility is that contaminated food or water could spread the disease. People sometimes got sick before burial rites were done for the dead or after touching something that had been used by someone who later died of the plague.
Between 1347 to 1400, Europe was decimated by the Black Death. It was a zoonotic illness carried through animal contact, mostly by fleas and other rat parasites (at that time, rats often coexisted with humans, thus allowing the disease to spread so quickly). The mortality rate ranged from 30% to 100%, but some people did recover.
Britain was not immune to this epidemic disease. In fact, the plague killed almost half of all Europeans at the time. Its rapid spread is probably due to poor living conditions in Europe at the time. There were no antibiotics to treat patients, so death came very soon after infection. Also, there were no vaccines available, so people had no way to protect themselves.
The Black Death arrived in England in May 1348 and stayed for more than a year. It started in London and then spread across the country. By September 1349, almost the entire population of England was dead.
In France, Germany, and Italy, the death toll was even higher - up to 60%.
Britain's early modern historians called this event "the great pestilence." It is estimated that it killed about 50% of European men, women, and children. This makes it one of the most deadly diseases in human history.