When was the Great Plague of London, how many people did bubonic plague kill, what caused it and how did it end?

DURING the 17th century, the worst plague epidemic since the Black Death of 1348 swept through London.

It is estimated that thousands died during the outbreak, but what was the plague? How did it end? Here’s everything you need to know.

The Great Plague of London swept through the capital from 1665 to 1666, killing over 68,000 people


The Great Plague of London swept through the capital from 1665 to 1666, killing over 68,000 people

What was the Great Plague of London?

1665 The Great Plague of London struck the city.

It is known by a few names, the Black Death and the Great Mortality.

In the 17th century, the plague spread throughout Europe, endemic primarily in the overburdened cities.

But this outbreak was of far greater magnitude than it had been for some time.

The plague had been known in England for centuries, ever since it first devastated society in 1348.

The World Health Organization describes plague symptoms as “flu-like,” with one to seven days between incubation and the onset of symptoms.

The victims suffered terribly. Her skin turned black in patches, and her glands became inflamed, or “bumps” in her groin. This was combined with uncontrollable vomiting, tongue swelling and headaches.

Altogether a painful way to die.

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which is normally found in small mammals and their fleas.

It has an extremely high mortality rate and is highly contagious, although it can be treated with antibiotics if caught early.

Depending on which area of ​​the body is affected, plague has three main types:

  • Pneumonic plague – here the lungs are infected. The plague can be transmitted from person to person through airborne droplets.
  • septicemic plague – this is when the blood is infected. It can be a complication of pneumonic plague and bubonic plague, or it can occur on its own. When it manifests itself, it happens in the same way as bubonic plague, but there are no bumps.
  • Bubonic plague – This is the most common form of plague and is caused by the bite of an infected flea. The bacterium is transferred from the flea to the body and travels through the lymphatic system to the lymph nodes, where it multiplies. As a result, the lymph node becomes inflamed and painful, a bulging.

Bubonic plague is fatal in 30-60% of cases, while pneumonic plague is always fatal if left untreated.

This was not the first time the plague had struck London, 40,000 Londoners dying from it in 1625, but the 1665 outbreak was the worst and last such epidemic in London.

How did the Great Plague of London start?

How the Great Plague of London started remains a mystery.

It is believed to have most likely been encountered on a Dutch ship.

Black rats carried the fleas that caused the plague. They were drawn to the streets of cities filled with garbage and litter, especially in the poorest areas.

This was not known at the time and would not be known for centuries.

Those living in the poorer, more crowded areas of London were at a higher risk of contracting the plague as rats were more common in those areas.

The plague began in the fields of the London suburb of St Giles and the worst effects remained on the outskirts of the city in Stepney, Shoreditch, Clerkenwell, Cripplegate and Westminster.

What was the death toll from the Great Plague of London?

Millions of people across Europe have died from the plague, aptly named the Black Death, since it first broke out in 1347-1351.

The second wave in the 1500s saw the emergence of a new strain that once again brought nations to their knees with high death tolls.

The last plague epidemic hit Asia in the late 18th century, giving the scientific and medical community an opportunity to identify and study the disease.

During the Great Plague of London it was reported that an estimated 68,596 people died, although more than 100,000 are believed to have died out of a population of 460,000.

At its peak, the disease claimed 7,000 lives a week, according to conservative measurements

An eruption was believed to have occurred in the winter of 1664, but it did not spread like wildfire until the spring of 1665.

Those who could, including lawyers, doctors and nobles, left the city for their own safety

King Charles II and his court fled the city in the summer of 1665 and only returned in February 1666. Parliament also moved to Oxford from the city during the worst of the epidemic.

Did the Great Fire of London end the plague outbreak?

A second tragedy struck London in 1666, The Great Fire of London.

Some believe the fire brought about the end of the plague, others argue that the plague had already subsided before the fire destroyed most of the city.

Over 13,000 homes were destroyed along with nearly 90 churches and even St. Paul’s Cathedral was damaged by the fire.

The fire broke out at the King’s Bakery in Pudding Lane in September. Fires were common at the time and usually easy to stop. However, the summer was hot, so the wooden buildings were bone dry.

Strong winds also helped the fire spread with devastating effects.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6930768/great-plague-of-london-how-many-killed-bubonic-plague-caused/ When was the Great Plague of London, how many people did bubonic plague kill, what caused it and how did it end?


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