Symptoms of Black Death
Black Death is a plague that originates from bacteria known as Yersinia pestis, which multiply extremely fast and overwhelms the body’s capacity to fight infections (Slavicek, 2008). The disease is normally spread through fleas, which suck blood from infected animals. Other methods of transmission include air and pneumonic method. Hence, the symptoms develop based on how the bacteria find their way into the patient’s body. The three types of plagues, namely, bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, have different symptoms. Plague is a fatal disease that necessitates urgent medical consideration to avert complications.
The earliest symptoms of Black Death depict bubonic plague, and include the appearance of some swellings around the groin, as well as in the armpits (Slavicek, 2008). Such symptoms are accompanied by headache, queasiness, chills, and fever, even before the swellings become visible (Byme, 2012). The swelling of nodes becomes visible six days after the infection due to bacteria multiplication within the point where they enter the body. The swellings (buboes) become painful, leading to fever and weakness. The earliest symptoms do not depict destruction of pathogens, but failure to attend bubonic plague results to septicemic plague.
The latest symptoms of Black Death are extremely lethal. They are exhibited when a patient with plague experiences abdominal pain; extreme weakness; diarrhea; bleeding from all body openings; and blackening of body tissues around the nose, toes, and fingers. The latest symptoms can also illustrate pneumonic plague, which result from unattended septicemic plague. In pneumonic plague, coughing and chest pains are quite common, and may result in asthma-like shortage of breath, where the patient begins to cough blood (Byme, 2012). Pneumonic plague is the deadliest stage of Black Death, where patients may experience respiratory failure or shock, if they are not treated within two days after contracting the disease.
Byrne, J. P. (2012). Encyclopedia of the Black Death. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.
Slavicek, L. C. (2008). The black death. New York, NY: Chelsea House.