How Long Did The Black Plague Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6-7 years (Approximately)

Black plague is an infection spread commonly in humans. The infection is caused due to infected fleas that travel on rodents. Bubonic plague is the second epidemic witnessed by humans that occurred in Africa and Europe between 1347 to 1353.

It was a devastating epidemic that horrified everyone. It struck Asia and Europe in the mid-1300s and later over the next five years killed 20 million people in Europe almost one-third of the continent’s population.

Before Asia and Europe, the black plague had struck China, Persia, Syria, Egypt, and even India in the early 1340s. The symptoms and signs of plague usually develop between two and seven days after getting infected by the bacteria.

How Long Did The Black Plague Last?

The origin of the black plague is not yet confirmed detected, its origin is disputed. Some believe that it was originated in Central Asia others say that it was originated in East Asia, but the first case of the pandemic was detected in Crimea for the first time in 1347.

The plague lasted for nearly six to seven years which is from
1347 to 1353. The pandemic caused a lot of hustle tussle in the continent and made everyone fight against death and survive.

The plague returned again after 800 years when it hit Europe in 1347. This time again with the same impact, it lasted for nearly 4 years and killed approximately 200 million people.

The following table shows the duration of different plagues that occurred and lasted for how long –

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Plagues Time period
Justinian plaguenearly 3 years
The Black plaguenearly 7 years
The great plague of Londonnearly 2 years

Why Did The Black Plague Last So Long?

The black plague is believed to have been originated 2000 years ago in the continent of Asia. It is stated that it spread through trading ships. Some of the sailors of the 12 ships which arrived at the Sicilian port from the black sea were found dead whereas others were in a very deadly ill.

The plague was very difficult to control, to treat the sufferers, and it lasted so long because it was an infectious disease and open out by touching the one infected and also through air. The risk factors for plague include being bitten by fleas as well as exposure to rodents.

It took time for the scientists to understand that how did the infection spreads and to find the treatment for the same. Later it was examined that it spread from the infected to the healthy person and also germs spread through the air.

The symptoms of the black plague are painful and enlarged lymph nodes, chills, headache, fever, fatigue, and weakness. It happens due to the Yersinia pestis bacterium which spreads mostly by fleas on rodents and other animals.

No one knew how did this end. This led to the invention of something called ‘quarantine‘. Quarantine is the process in which everyone is inside the homes, isolated, and came out of their places only when hardly required which helped in controlling the spread of the bacteria.
The ones healthy did everything possible to keep themselves safe because just a single mistake could cost them their lives.

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Conclusion

The plague caused a lot of destruction. However, it actually never ended there are some places where one or two cases could be observed, but 95% of the cases today appear in Madagascar and sub-Saharan Africa.

At the time of the black plague, different types of treatments were done which included religious cures, bathing with vinegar or rosewater, quarantine and social distancing, and many more. However, evolution theories tell us that a pathogen that kills all its victims will eventually run out of victims, leading to its own extinction.

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Antibiotics are the best in preventing and diagnosing plague. This was the time when people became conscious about their hygiene and health. The black plague was a horrible plague that swept through Europe, Asia, and Africa.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25118799
  2. https://journals.asm.org/doi/abs/10.1128/jcm.01519-17