Elizabethans lived in an unsanitary, unhealthy environment -- a consequence from the lack of knowledge. Due to the belief that touching water evoked a devil possession or terminal illness, Elizabethans rarely showered. Eventually, filth made way to body lice, which led to the outbreak of typhus, the fourth most fatal disease of the Elizabethan Age, “Epidemics of louse-borne typhus ravaged London several times during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. Crowded, filthy conditions and a near total lack of bathing made room for body lice" (Mabillard 2). Body lice gave the skin rashes. When scratched, the body lice defecated on the skin. A small, minor cut was all it took for the feces to enter the body and infect the person with typhus. The disease induced fevers, delirium, and tissue decay. If Elizabethans realized that hygiene prevented this outbreak, Typhus would have been a minor sickness rather than a viral, deadly disease. Furthermore, because the Elizabethan Era lacked working sewage syst...
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