Black Death : the most deadly epidemic in human history

Black Death : the most deadly epidemic in human history


Black Death  the most deadly epidemic in human history
Black Death  the most deadly epidemic in human history
Today, the Corona epidemic conjures up in our minds the memory of one of humanity's most deadly epidemics throughout history. In the autumn of 1347, the Black Death set its sights in Europe, and it did not leave before half or two-thirds of the continent was killed, equivalent to 50 million people,
And often more than this figure in Asia where it is believed to have originated, and the population of Europe did not return to what it was until 200 years later, thus changing the social system of the continent once and for all.

So what is black death?

So what is black death?
So what is black death?
Black Death is the second of the three major outbreaks of bubonic plague that hit the world and is the owner of the largest rate of deaths among them,It affects the lymph nodes known as the armpits under the armpits, upper thigh and neck, or in the inguinal region, causing swelling and blackening, hence the name of the black plague, and causes the ends of the body as hands and feet to bite, after stinging a flea that carries the virus of yersenia.

There are many historical examples of measures that were followed by countries to reduce epidemics before the Black Death. It is known that China was holding sailors and travelers in ports to reduce the spread of diseases,Since the seventh century, the caliph in Damascus has ordered the compulsory stone of people affected by leprosy in hospitals, and the Emperor Justinian I ordered the isolation of those infected with plague when the first epidemic, known as the Emperor, spread in 541,and restrict the movement of some of the minorities who were immediately blamed.

The actions taken by most countries today and advised by the World Health Organization are not entirely alien to the measures that European governments followed at the time of the Black Death, but rather their roots back there in truth.for example, most of the English cities denied any cases of infection, but once the epidemic broke out in the city until strict measures were imposed in it, the fires were set on stoves and torches to purify the air, and public gatherings were banned or at least not recommended.

The Black Death imposed on every city the task of finding \"researchers\" whose mission is to search for plague injuries. They were trained to recognize symptoms, and once they identified any infection, the patient was sent to a hospital designated for epidemic diseases.As for the rest of his family, he is quarantined for 40 days, to ensure that they do not spread the infection. Food and water were brought in to these families based on their financial ability, under the supervision of guards who ensured that no family member escaped.

Perhaps the most controversial measure at the time was the closure of markets, as many families quickly fell into poverty, and residents were determined to break this measure. Families depended on simple savings, if any, and church help,As for the rich families, they used to bribe the researcher so that the injury would not be announced or that the guards would be allowed to allow the family to leave before 40 days passed. As the cases of black death increased, the number of people able to deliver food and water and guard the affected homes was gradually decreasing.

There is no longer a vacant place in hospitals, and new infections are left behind in the homes of healthy individuals. There are those who see that these measures have already contributed to limiting the spread of the Black Death,But the problem is that the bubonic plague spreads through rodents and fleas that could not be quarantined.Although it is difficult to accurately compare death rates historically, the death rate in countries that have not taken measures such as the Netherlands, for example, looks similar to the countries that have taken them, such as the United Kingdom.

Marine quarantine

Marine quarantine
Marine quarantine
The Italian city of Venice, in turn, issued a policy that compels ships coming from countries where the Black Death is common to dock in its port for a period of 13 days before landing, and then this period becomes 40 days,And the policy of forty days was more effective as we know today that the plague infection lasts about 37 days, where the infected becomes contagious from day 12 and external symptoms do not appear before day 33, and the Italian word meaning 40 quarantino paved the way for the emergence of the word quarantine used today.

Then the city government then established a stone center on a small island near the port, where incoming ships could dock there and sailors could go ashore to spend forty days.And then the idea of ​​this sea stone Lazaretto began spreading in various European countries affected by black death and then reached the new world, so a quarry was built on an island near the port of New York where the Statue of Liberty is located today, and this stone system led to the preventive systems followed today after the great medical development.

The spread of black death in the European continent had many consequences, as it paved the way for the collapse of serfdom, and since the number of deaths was very large, the survivors had many job opportunities,Consequently, the demand for labor increased and the value of wages increased, and the authority of the Catholic Church is no longer as strong as it was before the epidemic, as Europe witnessed a marked increase in intolerance.

There are many similarities between the plague and Corona, both epidemics originated from the Far East, both of which were originally migrated from animals, and both are long-term epidemics.Just as the Mughal Empire and the Italian merchants traveling on the Silk Road were the cause of the black death's transmission across continents, air travel and global markets accelerated the spread of the contemporary epidemic.While the blame was directed at the Jews and burned due to the spread of the plague, here the blame is also directed here and there today.

But, as some like, the situation we have today comparing to the time of the Black Death, we must point out some important differences. We know first of all that the plague is caused by the Yersinia plague, while the current epidemic is caused by the covid 19 virus of the Coronavirus family.The virus spreads from one person to another, but for plague, only one type is spread in this way, which is pulmonary plague, and infection with the blood or blood plague requires a bite from the fleas that carry the bacterium.

The Black Death was a sign of the end of the world, at least that is what many believed then. It is worth noting that the world did not end, but that this epidemic did not disappear entirely in 1351,
as the epidemic continued to appear in European cities almost every 15-20 years until the end of the eighteenth century.Plague has spread to almost every country in the world at some stage in history, and plague still exists to this day in some African countries, but today we have the knowledge that we can confront and eliminate it.

Ironically, the Italian cities that mastered the challenge of black death and established the concepts of stone and isolation are today the most endemic areas. Despite the conflicting figures, the mortality rate in the virus remains relatively low,This unpleasant memory that today's epidemic evokes may be a sign of mankind's ability to overcome great obstacles and that this can only be achieved through joint efforts.


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