Thursday, November 19, 2009

Black Death; 75 million deaths

The Black Death
1347 - 1350

Culprit: Oriental Rat Flea

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Family: Pulicidae
Order: Siphonaptera
Genus: Xenopsylla
Species: cheopis

Dead littered the streets everywhere. Cattle and livestock roamed the country unattended. Brother deserted brother.

The Black Death was one of the worst natural disasters in history. In 1347 A.D., a great plague swept over Europe, ravaged cities causing widespread hysteria and death. One third of the population of Europe died. "The impact upon the future of England was greater than upon any other European country." (Cartwright, 1991) The primary culprits in transmitting this disease were oriental rat fleas carried on the back of black rats.

The Black Plague is the one of the most serious pandemic outbreak in modern history. It was believed to have started in Central Asia and affected Europe during the 13th century.

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