Overview Of The Black Death Essay

1579 words - 6 pages

Multiple circumstances within the cities, families, and organizations of societies contributed to the rapid spread of the plague. Rats, ticks and other rodents or insects where one of the reason the plague spread throughout the world and most of Europe. The ticks and fleas where infected with the disease and they bit the rats and other rodents, which infected them with the disease. The ticks and fleas also bit other rodents, livestock and even the attached themselves to humans and transferred the disease to them. The rats or other rodents ran throughout the place they where bit by the tick. Some of the rodents began to go into ship yards and trains. They bread with other rats and begin to produce offspring which created an even bigger problem. The rodents got onto the ships and where transported around the world, along with the now infected materials on board. The rats would drop their feces around the ship and even on the drinking water and food. When the ships docked at ship yards around the world the rats got off and ran around the new country they now belonged to. Some of the supplies that where taken off of the ship included but was not limited to, liquids, foods and livestock. These supplies where shipped around the world and contributed greatly to the spread of the disease.
The church also helped the spread of the plague. The priests, from the catholic church, went from house to house visiting the sick. The priest would visit the sick person to anoint them before they died. This was a catholic belief and is still done today. It is called anointing of the sick, it is a sacrament in the catholic faith. This caused the disease to spread rapidly because the priest would visit a sick person and become infected. He then would go around town visiting other sick people and even some people that where not sick. This caused the people that had previously not been infected to become infected. We see this when the Archbishop of England dies because the priest that went to visit the sick people did not think they where infected. The people thought, along with the church, that the disease was a punishment from God. So a lot of people where not helped like they could have been because they thought that most of the people who got them where criminals.
Hygiene within the cities and families was a major contributor to the spread of the plague. The sewer system was open and freely running. And sometimes people just opened their window and dumped their fecal matter outside onto the streets (Betcher, G.). The streets where mud and when they dumped the feces on the streets it mixed with the dirt and mud. When there was a light rain this caused a major problem because people would track the mud inside there house. This caused bacteria to spread rapidly throughout the cities. The systems had garbage and a lot of fecal matter in it. The rats that where infected also lived in the sewers and then when they needed food or water they would come out and scurry...

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