People who caught the plague first started to shiver, and then they became feverish. They began to sweat, cough up blood and vomit. Their heads, backs and limbs ached violently. They felt giddy. Even the dim light of the cottage hurt their eyes. They could not sleep, and diarrhoea set in. They felt dazed, and when they did manage to sleep, they went in a delirium, speaking rapidly and not making any sense.
Soon their groins and armpits began to break out in deep blue swellings (known as buboes) which itched with a tearing, cutting pain. Once this happened it would only be a matter of days before the victim died. At that time no one knew how to cure the plague. It was from these dark patches on the victims’ bodies that the plague received its frightening nickname – the Black Death.