Imagine 25 million people dying from one disease in just five years (McCabe 18). This disease would spread over thousands of miles unchecked and with no known treatment. No one would even know from where it came. People would constantly live in fear for their own existence. Friends and loved ones would die on a regular basis. Extreme and harsh measures would have to be taken to avoid infection. It is hard for people in our society to imagine such a specter. However, such a disease actually did turn these nightmares into a reality at one time in history.
Although these ideas might seem preposterous, they actually did occur. This disease was the biggest killer out of any other disease known to humankind. One would assume that this disease has now been abolished off the face of the planet, but this is not the case. It still lives among people of the world today and there have been numerous outbreaks in recent years.
Some countries' futures may in fact be in great danger if proper action is not taken to stop it (Marriot 2).
This disease has come to be known as The Black Death or The Plague. The Plague saw its first major outbreak in 1347 on the island of Sicily (McCabe 18). At that time it was referred to as The Pestilence (Truitt 12). The people of Sicily were dumbfounded as to where this disease came from and how to treat it. Eventually it would grow out of control as it moved up into the mainland of Europe. Marichone di Coppo Stefani, writer of the Florentine chronicle, made this terrifying account of what he saw from the Black Death:
Neither physicians nor medicines were effective. Whether because these illnesses were previously unknown or because physicians had not previously...