“Black Death” is a universal catastrophe of the Middle Ages era, which claimed about 25 million human lives. This name appeared in literature only in the 16th century. Not only Europe but also Asia suffered. Everyone is well aware that the foci of hitherto unseen ailments were in separate regions of East and Central Asia. However, they are found there now. Epidemiologists at the end of the XIX century were able to study well the nature of the disease and identify its two infectious forms. A pulmonary plague has always been fatal as a final. Bubonic left every fourth hope of recovery. “Black Death”.
At the height of the epidemic in the fourteenth century, Europeans had to deal with the first form of the disease. This fact greatly influenced the perception of the epidemic by medieval society. Horror and fear controlled people. But contemporaries who wrote about the events of those years displayed more likely the consequences and symptoms of the bubonic plague. Nevertheless, the percentage of healed by the end of the 15th century increased markedly.
What to do?
How was this infection transmitted? In the Middle Ages, it was believed that transmission occurs by touching the patient’s things or directly to him. Hence the desire to burn the deceased. But this measure did not solve the problem in any way. The cremation of corpses in the Christian tradition was strictly prohibited. Recognizing the carrier was even more difficult: the then European mentality and fables, about which rumors were full, were causing problems. The Jews were to blame for everything, who poured poison into the wells, or the movement of celestial bodies, as well as God’s wrath. No one betrayed the bites of rats and fleas.
What could medicine of that time be? Unfortunately, nothing good. The local Aesculapius opened the buboes, blew blood, causing damage not only to the patient but also to himself. The risk of infection increased many times. Adhesive patches from birds and opium compress (yes, such methods were considered effective) adversely affected the patient’s lungs. The infection spread at lightning speed in places where people were saved, fleeing the plague.
For 3 years from 1348 to 1351, Western Europe lost about 30% of the population. But the disease did not spread evenly. This is due to the lack of water and land communications, as well as to a small proportion of the concentration of people in individual cities. The epidemic broke out several more times: in the second half of the XIV century, we know at least 3 cases. Chronists did not so vividly describe new misfortunes – people gradually got used to hardships. Mostly old people, pregnant women and children died: the disease seemed to choose victims. At the same time, a gradual demographic boom and economic growth continued. Scientists have discovered an interesting detail: it is proved that the third blood group is less susceptible to attacks of the plague bacillus. It prevailed among European peoples of Celtic and Asian descent: Hungarians, Scots, Irish,