Plague Doctor

The Plague Doctor The 17th century In Italy 1656-57 Devastating outbreaks of “Bubonic Plague” In Naples, Rome, and Genoa Killed approximately 200 -400 thousand people. Its unknown where this deadly plague originated But It’s said to spread from Naples where restrictions and precautions Were none existence In this cities Plague Doctor’s were hired To treat Plague patients, especially for the poor who cannot afford treatment. The doctor’s costume Was designed to protect them from what was thought of As “Evil Smells or Bad Air” Which was seen as the cause of infection at the time This is now known as the Medically Absolite “Miasma Theory”. In reality, the plague was caused by the Bacterium “Yersinia Pestis” which exists in fleas Found on Rats The invective would had have Flu Symptoms followed by swollen and painful! “Lymph Nodes” Gain green, and vomiting of blood with death following within a week from infection. Some historians pointed Charles de L’Orme as the inventor of the costume which was modeled after soldier’s armor the most striking feature was a bird beak like mask with crystal glasses The mask was more than aesthetic and acted as respirator filled with dried flowers or spices which the doctor breath through protecting them from contagious the doctor would also wear a long moroccan leather gown that tucked into the mask to prevent contact with patient and the surface was waxed to prevent Miasma sticking to the surface. A fryer named, Father Antone Maria Dasal Valavantura observed that those who worked in the plague house while wearing the waxy robe, did not catched the disease. He noted that it stopped fleas nesting on the person and it was therefore close to discover the true reason behind plague. Unfortunately he discounted the fleas as merely as annoyance rather than the carriers of the disease and further more has the clothing didn’t protect the wearer from Miasmas he would discount the value of the waxed robes as well The doctor would also wear gloves, boots, and a wide brimmed hat to show his profession, and hold a wand or cane to examine and issue instruction, without touching the patient. methods of treatment for the miasma which was really the plague were ineffetive remedies included blood letting, and the use of leeches on the infected areas prescriptions of toads or spiders were also given to absorb the bad air the plague doctors appearance was quite terrifying for patients as it was a signed for impending death and they were kept out of the way the public due to the nature of their profession.

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