The Black Plague originated from central Asia. In January of 1348, the plague was brought to Sicily by traders. The people of Sicily fell ill quickly, suffering from dizziness, vomiting, and bumps on their skin. Officials thought it would be best if the people who were not yet sick go to neighboring towns. Instead this spread the disease because the disease was carried by ticks and fleas which were often on the people. By summer of 1348 the plague had traveled west to Spain, north through France, and northeast to all of Italy. In 1352 it had reached Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. After the peak of the plague was over in 1350 it had traveled along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Physicians did very little to try to stop the plague because they were afraid of it themselves. When a household were to die, a powder of sulpher, arsenic, and antimony was thrown into the fire of the victim's home. Sulpher helped kill fleas and ticks. Because little was done to try to prevent and cure the disease death rates were high. At its height, the plague killed 600 Venetians a day and Florence and England lost half of its population. It took about 150 years for the population to reach what it was before the plague.