• Health

    Unmasking the Plague Doctor: A Symbol of Fear and Misunderstanding

      The plague was once the most terrifying disease in the world, killing hundreds of millions of people in global epidemics and tormenting victims with painful and swollen lymph nodes, blackened skin, and other horrific symptoms.   In 17th-century Europe, doctors who cared for plague victims wore garb that is still ominous today: They covered themselves from head to toe and donned a long, beak-like mask. Behind this plague mask is actually a misunderstanding of the nature of this dangerous disease.   During outbreaks of the bubonic plague, a recurring epidemic in Europe for centuries, towns besieged by the disease would hire plague doctors, who would administer what was considered medical treatment to…

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