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Word Count: 681
In the 1340s approximately one third to one half the population of Europe was wiped out by what was called The Black Death The people of the time were armed with little to no understanding of why and how the plague happened and how to control it and this allowed for the vast destruction that occurred in little more than three years time The origin of the epidemic has with little doubt been identified as Lake Issyk-Koul in what is now a part of Russian Central Asia A flood or some other natural disaster drove various rodents from their habitats around the lake and with them they carried fleas infected with the plague A species of wild rodents normally isolated from humanity spread the plague to the more common black rat which has been riding on board ships since man first set sail The plague then followed the trade routes all over Europe Ships arrived from Caffa at the port of Messina Sicily A few dying men clung to the oars the rest lay dead on the decks Ships that carried the coveted goods of the fabled East now also carried death The Pestilence had come to the shores of Europe Wark The accounts of the plague tell of the symptoms being tumors in the groin or the armpits and black livid spots on the arm or thigh typical symptoms of Bubonic plague However Bubonic plague normally takes several days to kill and many accounts tell of victims falling dead inside one day of contracting the disease The variance in the cases of the Black Death are the workings of three strains of the plague the plague proper a pulmonary air-borne version characterized by the vomiting of blood and a septicaemic variant capable of killing in several hours before typical symptoms can even develop The people the plague threatened knew neither the source of the disease nor how to protect themselves from it It
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