By: Khin thi

INTRODUCTION Black Death is something you would not want to get. But if you did…I would suggest you start writing your will. Back in the Middle Ages, one third of Europe died because of Black Death, a deadly sickness… and believe me, there was no time for them to write their will. THE CAUSE Some catastrophes, like earthquakes and floods devastated Asia… and the animals. The wildlife ran away into villages and towns in search for food and some rats got onto some trading boats. Some blood sucking rat fleas, Xenopsylla Cheopis, followed the rodents into the boat and throughout the whole voyage; the fleas feasted themselves on the rats’ bodies. The fleas excrete on the rat as they eat, and their poop’s infection gets into the rat because of all the scratching the rats do on the itchy bites. When the rats got off on Europe, they got really sick from the fleas’ infection and died. The fleas searched for new hosts for food and wandered into peoples’ houses, getting all their food from the humans’ blood. So just like the rats, the disease injected the humans’ bodies and that was how the poisonous Black Death got started. People from the Middle Ages thought this plague was started from poisonous clouds or it was god punishing them. Most people thought it was god punishing them, but no one knew how to stop it. THE EFFECT ON PEOPLEplague03-1.jpg The people suffered horribly from Black Death, and within five days, they were dead. It was a scary sickness, where there would be black lumps growing bigger and bigger everywhere on their bodies. These black spots were called buboes, and they were as big as apples! Symptoms produced black spots around the swellings, high fever, vomit, muscular pains and bleeding lungs. The buboes are red first, then purple, and black, and soon they pop and black, thick, smelly blood comes oozing out of their skin. Half of Asia suffered this endless pain with no cure. DOCTORS’ HELP Even though there were no cures for the bubonic plague, the doctors did the best they could. They used a variety of treatments like blood sucking leeches, drinking vinegar and applying hot plasters. Vinegar was the main medicine for Black Death. Some doctors even put pearls, rubies, and other jewels on the patient, believing that the rarity would heal the pain. Most doctors used butter, onion, garlic, tobacco, arsenic, lily root, and dried toads as medicines. Headaches were relieved by rose, lavender and bay. You would get the plague if the victim looks at you or sneezes on you or coughs on you, so the doctors started to worry about themselves getting sick! The doctors did everything they could, but finally, they got too afraid of the disease and fled from the whole state. CONCLUSION Tsk, tsk, tsk. Can you believe those pesky fleas?! Well, I’m just happy I wasn’t stuck in that scary period of time or I would have finished writing my will!