The Great Plague of Marseille was the last major outbreak of bubonic plague in western Europe. Arriving in Marseille, France in 1720, the disease killed a total of 100,000 people: 50,000 in the city during the next two years and another 50,000 to the north in surrounding provinces and towns.While economic activity took only a few years to recover, as trade expanded to the West Indies and Latin America, it was not until 1765 that the population returned to its pre-1720 level.
At the end of the plague of 1580, the people at Marseille took dramatic measures to attempt to control the future spread of disease. The city council of Marseille established a sanitation board, whose members were to be drawn from the city council as well as the doctors of the city. The exact founding date of the board is unknown, but its existence is first mentioned in a 1622 text of the Parliament of Aix.
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