The plague of the twentieth century was the most terrible plague in human history. The plague began in China and reached the Italian city of Sicily in 1347, engulfing the whole of Europe and destroying settlements. An estimated 75 million to 200 million people died as a result of the epidemic. About 30% of Europe was severely affected. By 1400 the plague had halved the population of England, and for the next one and a half centuries Europe could not reach the level of its population that it had before the plague.
Doctors at the time thought the disease was caused by the stench of unclaimed bodies or similar environmental pollution, while the general public thought it was a torment or the result of earthquakes.Read More »Science and epidemics