The plague aka Black Death

Jun 2006
340
Kentucky
How big of an impact did the Black Death have on the history of Europe. I heard that it killed like 1/3 of Europes population. What caused this plague? Where did it come from?

Do you think we will see another plague of this magnitude in the future?
 
Jun 2006
368
Earthquake Central
The plauge was caused by the fleas found on animals and people. It is most commonly associated with rats since that is how the disease traveled so fast. Rats would get onto ships which would move all about europe.

Contributing factors that I think made things worse.
Cats were considered to be from the devil. The lack of cats lead to a very large rodent population.
Bathing was also considered evil, so it lead to prime conditions for fleas to produce and infect.
Cities were just beginning for form so large parts of the population were living in close together. It lead to easy transmition of disease.
 
Jun 2006
368
Earthquake Central
Of course.

The Bubonic Plague still exists today in America. It has been found in the wilderness of Oregon and Washington. It pretty much only inflicts small furry woodland creatures and the occasional college student on a hiking trip.
 

Lord_Cronus

Historum Emeritas
Jun 2006
1,047
Georgia
Sanitation was absolutely horrible in Europe around this time, considering the Romes had perfected the sanitation of their empire well before the plagues hit. We must also remember during this time "bleeding" was a common practice used to cure people of ailments. I'm sure it contributed greatly to the spreading.
 
Jun 2006
254
Montana Mountains
Is it possible for the plague to have another outbreak as it did hundreds of years ago? If it still exists, couldn't it? Or are we immune to it by now?
 
Jun 2006
368
Earthquake Central
For Bubonic Plague.. no. It would be very hard for that to make a comeback since we have developed a cure for it if caught in time. However there are other plagues that are currently in the world that have no cures and have reached pandemic status. Ebola and AIDS come to mind.

This reminds me of a class I took in college called "Science and Society". I renamed it "Death and Disease" since that was all the class was about. Fun teacher though... used to get all excited and jumping around when describing the symptoms of various plagues. The class would have been a lot more fun if it didn't happen right before lunch.
 
Jun 2006
111
Charleston
I bet AIDs has probably killed more people than the plague did. It has/will kill half of Africa.

Doesn't some 40% of African have AIDs?
 
Jun 2006
254
Montana Mountains
I read that Africa has like 75% of the AIDs population... something like 25 million people in Africa have AIDs and about 6000 people per day die from it in Africa alone.

I would be interested in seeing a comparison of those stats against the plagues.
 

Lord_Cronus

Historum Emeritas
Jun 2006
1,047
Georgia
Man, they need to start tanning sheep or something for protection. We're talking the modern day extinction of a race.