The Great Plague, 1665

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  • Created by: MelMel
  • Created on: 03-04-18 11:53
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  • The Great Plague, 1665
    • Believed Causes
      • Many still blamed God
      • The position of the planets (evil planets aligning against the good ones) and the passing of 2 comets was another superstitious explanation
      • Miasma (bad air) remained the most common 'scientific' explanation
      • Imbalance of the four humours
      • From the weekly Bills of Mortality some observers linked dirt to the plague realizing that the highest numbers of deaths were in the poorest parishes
    • Treatment/prevention
      • Bleeding with leaches
      • Old medieval remedies using animals like snakes and scorpions to 'draw out the poison' were used
      • People smoked and chewed tobacco to keep away the bad smelling air
      • Make the victim sweat until the sores begin to rise and then apply alive pigeons cut in half onto the sores
      • Putting a died toad on the chest once first symptoms were felt
      • Animals were banned inside the city (London)-40,000 dogs and  200,000 cats were killed
      • Rotten food banned from sale to reduce the bad air
      • Public prayers for forgiveness and mercy were organised
    • Impacts
      • Public health solutions
        • Led to more organized approach to identifying and preventing spread
          • From the weekly Bills of Mortality some observers linked dirt to the plague realizing that the highest numbers of deaths were in the poorest parishes
        • Bodies were buried at night in mass graves called the plague pits
        • The victims were locked up in a house with a watcher posted outside for 4o days, red cross painted on the doors and a message 'Lord have mercy on us'
        • Fires were lit to remove the bad air
        • Plays and other big gatherings were banned
        • People were ordered to clean in front of their own houses
        • 100,000 died in London

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