Doctors during the Black Death plague wore masks filled with aromatic herbsWhy did some people survive the Black Death, and others succumb? At the time of the plague – which ravaged Europe from 1347 to 1351, carrying off 50 million people, perhaps half the population – various prophylactics were tried, from the killing of birds, cats and rats to the wearing of leather breeches (protecting the legs from flea bites) and the burning of aromatic spices and herbs.

 

Now it seems that the best way of avoiding death from the disease was to be fit and healthy. Sharon DeWitte and James Wood of the University of Albany, New York, have examined 490 skeletons from the East Smithfield plague pit in London and found that the Black Death was selective in picking off the already frail. Lesions (damaged bone) associated with earlier episodes of infection, under-nutrition or other forms of

3 Comments

  1. ryan
    May 4, 2016 @ 2:35 pm

    as i right this i am sitting in English class sitting here listening to my teacher try and tell me the plague happened during the 17th century.

    Reply

    • Robyn
      October 21, 2016 @ 11:39 am

      Maybe you should have listened closer because it reappeared in later centuries.

      Reply

    • Dom
      February 22, 2017 @ 8:39 pm

      Pay more attention, you’re in a class that helps you spell, and yet you type right instead of write.

      Reply

Leave a Reply