The topic I chose for my speech was diseases during Shakespeare's time period. I chose the Bubonic Plague as my main subject, because it put a huge impact in Europe at the time. I've tied another bacteria, called Anthrax with the Bubonic Plague to show how much they have in common, and to show how society is much safer now.
Almost half of the people in Western Europe died in a great sickness known as the Bubonic Plague. The plague was also referred to as "the Black Death" because the skin of diseased people turned a dark gray color. Scientists have discovered that it happened in China's Gobi Desert, and it killed about 35 million Asian People. When sailors traveled to Asia, rats returned with them to Europe. Fleas living on the blood of infected rats then transferred the disease to the European people.
The time of infection to death was less than one week. There were three major epidemics- in the 6th, 14th, and 17th centuries. All together the death toll was about 137 million victims. Although this reason seems to be the most reasonable, there are some scientists who have other ideas on how 137 million people were killed in Europe. Instead of being spread by animals and insects, they think it was passed man-to-man. Sort of like the measles or smallpox. Geographic patters of the disease somewhat support scientists research, because the disease spread quickly through rivers and down roadways and wasn't able to be slowed or stopped. Rodents, however, could be restricted from movement. These types of scientists don't rule out the possibility that the Bubonic Plague was spread through rats, but they believe it may have been caused by ancestors of the modern plague bacillus.