The Truth About the Plague Doctor

George Filopoulos and Hudson Feldman

Imagine you getting the plague and the last image you see before you black out is the mysterious mask of the horrifying monstrous figure in the shadows known as the plague doctor.  The plague doctor was a doctor in medieval times, they would wear long masks filled with herbs and spices to scare away “bad air” as they believed, and they would coat their long robes with slick slimy oil so it would keep the ¨bad air¨ out.  It was actually fleas that caused it .  But their oil coated robes keep the fleas off which would bite people on the neck, and the herbs in their masks wore off fleas.  They carried a long cane to poke about-to-die people clawing at them begging to save them.  And a bag full of medicine and poison to get people out of their misery.

The Start of the Plague Doctor

The first mention of the plague doctor was in Michael Tibayrenc’s Encyclopedia of Infectious Diseases.  The plague was probably the most feared disease of all time.  It could wipe out hundreds of millions of people in all of Europe.  The plague doctor was a doctor who treated victims of the Black Death.  

During the 17th century in Europe, the reason the plague doctor wore their mask was to defend against the plague also known as the Black Death.    

They would use their bird shaped masks to “Purify” the air

I hope this passage helped you learn the basics about the Plague Doctor.