The Bubonic Plague

By Sumani Nunna 2A

The Black Death

The Bubonic Plague, also known as 'The Black Death', was a carnivorous bacterium that caused an epidemic in Europe from 1347-1352. It is said that around 25 million Europeans died from the Black Death.


The Black Death first originated in the Black Sea. Traders going through the Black Sea to Asia sailed on rat-infested ships. The rats were bit by fleas carrying the bacteria Yersinia Pestis, which led the rats to become infected. If sailors caught the plague from a flea bite or rat bite, they were infected. The plague was also contagious. When the ships reached the Italian ports, the Bubonic Plague spread to the port cities and further beyond.


Symptoms of the Bubonic Plague started with a sudden onset of high fever, headache, chills and weakness. Your lymph nodes begin to swell severely, creating swollen, tender, and painful pustules called buboes. The buboes usually begin in the area where you received the flea bite, but if the bacteria was spread in some other way, the bubo will appear randomly. The bacteria begin to multiply in the lymph nodes closest to the origin.


This map shows the spread of the Bubonic Plague from 1347-1352. The Plague was spread this way because major goods from the Black Sea and Italian ports were traded across Europe. These contaminated goods made people sick. In addition to contaminated goods, infected traders and travelers traveled across Europe and spread the disease. As you can see from the map, the disease traveled along major trade routes across Europe and Northern Africa.

Works Cited

"The Black Death." - N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 June 2012. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.

"Plague." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.

National Geographic Mapmaker