As its name suggests, the Black Death was a hugely devastating plague which killed millions of people around the world. It came at a time of poor medical understanding across the globe. However, given recent events in history, it is clear that, even now, we still have some way to go in combatting the deadliest of diseases. The Black Death, however, remains one of the most destructive illnesses of its kind. Here are some interesting facts to help clue you in on everything it put at stake:
The Black Death’s origins began in around the 1200s, where it is thought to have originated in mainland Asia. It then spread across the West, causing mass devastation across Europe and elsewhere.
The Black Death is thought to be attributed to flea bites. Over the years, scholars and historians have maintained that rat fleas were to blame for the breakout. This is why rats have received such a poor public image in the centuries that have gone by – as disease-carriers!
However, some studies and scholars suggest that it may actually have been fleas from gerbils that could have started the plague. Unfortunately, 800 years on, we are no closer to knowing this for certain.
The Black Death was responsible for killing millions of people across the world between the 13th and 14th centuries. In fact, it’s thought that up to 75 million people across Asia alone fell prey to the disease. Millions, too, died in Europe – again, as a result of evolving knowledge in medical practice and sanitary conditions.
The Black Death was one of the most contagious diseases of all time, therefore explaining why so many people died as a result. It’s thought that poor harvests and a lack of proper nourishment at the time may have caused the illness to propagate further.
The Black Death also killed people within very quick periods of contraction. For example, in many cases, it was seen that people died just three days after coming into contact with an infected person. In some cases, it may even have been a matter of hours.
The Black Death is still known to have killed more people – at least, the biggest percentage of people – in one go than any other event or catastrophe in history. By the 1350s, the plague went away for good, with England having fallen prey to it for two years.
Remedies for the disease varied. As God-fearing people, many believed that the condition arrived as a result of a higher power punishing the masses. Therefore, many prayed to try and beat the condition. Others, however, merely ran for cover and shielded themselves.
Modern antibiotics have, thankfully, helped to eradicate hugely damaging and potentially fatal illnesses such as the Black Death. However, many are concerned that antibiotic resistance is building with some illnesses, meaning that further investment in the research and development of all-around treatment has never been more important – this applies to a world post-COVID-19, too.
Do you know any interesting facts about the Black Death that we’ve not mentioned? Share them here in the comments section below!