Black Plague – Black Death Plague

The black plague epidemic , the deadliest epidemic in human history , killed 200 million people in China, North Africa and Europe.

Black Plague Bacteria

It is a disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis . This bacterium killed about 200 million people in the 14th century. It is a disease spread by fleas in marmots. The black plague disease, which affected its victims with symptoms such as high fever, severe nausea and pain, caused purple blisters on people’s elbows or groin and then inflated these bubbles to the size of an egg like a balloon, causing them to burst. After the explosion, a bad-smelling black liquid emerges and the patient was relieved by the effect of the explosion, but within 5 days after the explosion, the victim died. Exactly 80 years after the disease emerged, it had reduced the population of China by 1/3. Thousands of people were dying every day.

Started in China?

Black death first started in China in the 1300s and then progressed to Central Asia. In 1347, the black plague disease was carried to Europe when the Mongolian army threw the plague corpses to the Genoese Trade Center in Europe. The Genoese, who burned the diseased corpses and then returned to Sicily, first carried the disease to Europe and then to North America. Thanks to this, millions of people died of this disease. Black plague was very effective in Europe and even damaged and changed the social base of Europe. In Rome, the black death affected the Catholic church and led to the persecution of minorities such as Jews, Muslims, and beggars.

Half of Europe’s Population Perished

With the black death disease half of the European population has disappeared. Before the black plague came, there was a rapid population increase in Europe, so people could not eat well, their immune systems were weak. Scientists attribute the black plague affecting Europe in those years.

The effects of this epidemic continued for 350 years, that is, until the 1700s. Meanwhile, other outbreaks in Europe (1665-1666) are the Great London Outbreak, the Italy outbreak in 1629-1631, the Great Marseille Outbreak (1720-1722), the Moscow Outbreak in 1771, and the Great Vienna Outbreak in 1679. When the 18th century ended, epidemics were completely eliminated.

The reason why this disease is called black plague or black death is that the skin turns black due to the bleeding under the skin as a result of the disease. The land used here means sad or bad.


It was also said that the black death epidemic was caused by witches. People thought to be witches were taken from their homes and burned alive. In medieval Europe, cats were also slaughtered because of this disease. Since the eyes of the cats that hunted at night glowed at night, they were accepted as witches and tens of thousands of cats were burned to death. In fact, it was a great chance that these mice would spread the disease, people were killing cats unknowingly, allowing the disease to spread further. There were no longer enemies to say stop to rats.


This disease is most commonly transmitted to humans by fleas found in mice. Black plague has been more common in rural areas and has spread due to lack of infrastructure and hygiene. One of the reasons for the spread of black plague is rats. The mice carried the disease and enabled it to spread rapidly. Since there were no antibiotics at that time, the disease could not be eradicated, but today antibiotics destroy the Yersinia pestis bacteria that cause this disease .

Yersinia Pestis Bacteria

Yersinia pestis bacteria picture
Yersinia pestis bacteria

This bacterium can easily reproduce and has a thick and short structure called bacillus. Bacteria can survive for years in dark and humid environments, even outside the body. The bacteria can transform into a special form for weeks, in the feces of fleas for a month, and in inflammation and sputum for a few weeks. Yersinia Pestis bacteria, which is known to be extremely resistant to cold, maintains its viability for very long periods in frozen environments. Studies show that the black plague occurred in Central Asia and China. Black plague has killed many animals other than humans.

How Did the Black Plague End?

The black plague disease, which has affected Europe for a very long time like 400 years, has been completely eradicated thanks to antibiotics as a result of long studies and efforts.

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Merhaba, Ben Fatih Arkan,bloğuma hoşgeldiniz. Kendimi kısaca tanıtayım. 1972 İstanbul doğumluyum. Evli ve 3 çocuk babasıyım. Anadolu Üniversitesi İşletme Fakültesi mezunuyum. Adım ve soyadım olan isimli web sitesinde olabildiğince faydalı ve güncel haberleri yayınlamaya çaba gösteriyorum. İlginize teşekkür ederim.

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