The Black Plague Essay

Submitted By gloverkr1985
Words: 738
Pages: 3

Kevin R. Glover
Professor Schmitt
English 2111-45
November 27, 2012
The Black Plague The Black Plague is a disease contracted from diseased animals, mostly by fleas, to human. The Black Plague then may be contracted by humans touching or breathing on one another. This disease is highly deadly and the bacterium that causes this disease is Yersinia Pestis. The Black Plague or as many call it “The Black Death” arrived in Europe by sea October 1347 when twelve Genoese trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina after traveling through the Black Sea. Europe’s communities were devastated by the amount of suffering and death the disease brought to the people. The most common characteristic of the black plague is the black boils that appear all over the human body and then the boils bursts open with the blood oozing out black. The black blood that oozes out is why people call it the black plague. The symptoms of the disease can progress to other categories of the black plague which are: septicemia plague, pneumonic plague, and bubonic plague. The Sopticemic plague is the rarest deadliest bacterial infection caused by a bacterium called Yersinia Pertis. The plague begins to destroy the human body “when the bacterium enters the bloodstream through an open wound the person is known to be infected by plague. The bacterium multiplies in the blood and results in septicemic plague. This form of plague like the other types is capable of causing disseminated intravascular coagulation, which is a blood clotting mechanism leading to formation of small clots in the blood vessels of the body. The bacterial endotoxins released in the blood cause blood coagulation, which in turn conduces to abnormal bleeding in the skin and also disruption of normal blood flow to various vital organs”(Johnson). The Soticemic plague is a horrible disease to have and is highly contagious. Second, The Pneumonic plague is a severe type of lung infection cause by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. “It can be caused in two ways: primary, which results from the inhalation of aerosolized plague bacteria, or secondary, when septicemic plague spreads into lung tissue from the bloodstream. Pneumonic plague is not exclusively vector-borne like bubonic plague; instead it can be spread from person to person. There have been cases of pneumonic plague resulting from the dissection or handling of contaminated animal tissue. The most apparent symptoms of pneumonic plague are coughing, often with hemoptysis (coughing up blood). With pneumonic plague, the first signs of illness are fever, headache, weakness, and rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and sometimes bloody or watery sputum. The pneumonia progresses for two to four days and may cause respiratory failure and shock” (Pneumonic). The two to four days that the disease is processing though a human’s body is extremely painful and uncomfortable. Finally, The Bubonic plague which extremely deadly and has…