The Black Death

Terminus, Supreme Overlord of All of Existence


The most famous epidemic of yersinia pestis swept through Eurasia in the years 1346-1353. Now believed to have originated in China, lepers, God, Jews, and even people with acne were blamed for being the cause of the disease. "Doctors" wearing black robes, gloves, hats, and what are now classified a mardi gras masks sold "cures" to those who were infected. Their "protective" clothing usually didn't help. When the epidemic was over, an estimated 75-200 million people died, including 30-60% of Europe's population.(200 MILLION DEATHS) It took Europe's population 150 years to recover.(150 YEARS) The disease kept on popping up until the 19th century. How did it get to Europe? Well, it came from China, traveled along the silk road to Crimea. From there, it hitched a ride on merchant ships, which traveled to Europe. Hey, wouldn't it suck if this disease were still around and killed like, thousands of people every year? What's that? Oh...


This infection is caused by Yersinia Pestis, a bacteria, which means, if caught early enough, it can be cured with antibiotics. If not caught early enough, it can be cured with chicken soup and asprin. Yes, I'm totally serious. (Not really, for those of you who can't take a hint.)


Stay away from fleas that look like they've bitten infected rats. You may need a microscope to be absolutely sure. This is a blood-borne and airborne disease, so stay away from people who are infected. Refrain from rubbing the bodies of dead rats on open wounds, regardless of how appealing it may seem.


OK, here's the bad part. (If you have this disease) The symptoms are:

  • fever and chills
  • headaches
  • malaise or fatigue
  • muscle aches
  • buboes (growth that's warm to the touch and usually located around the armpits)
  • black patches on skin
  • bleeding
  • abdominal pains
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • coughing out blood
  • difficulty breathing
  • nausea
  • weakness (from all the vomiting and bleeding you're going to be doing)


"Black Death." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

"The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have." Google Books. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

"Plague Doctor." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

"Plague." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.