- Dec 26, 2020
I heard about this, and what I didn't understand was whether the pathogen was still viable after all that time. In other words, can you catch plague off a 5000-year-old body?
FULL STORY: https://www.thedailybeast.com/plague-detected-in-6-colorado-counties-after-10-year-old-girls-deathColorado Girl’s Plague Death Is Tragic but Exceedingly Rare
Plague has been found in animals and fleas in six Colorado counties after a 10-year-old girl died in early July from the rare bacterial infection, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced.
The unnamed fourth-grader who became infected was a member of the 4-H Weaselskin Club, and had been raising hogs as part of the program. The case marked the state’s first plague death since 2015, and the second confirmed incidence of plague in Colorado this year.
Plague activity has so far been identified in the counties of San Miguel, El Paso, Boulder, Huerfano, Adams, and La Plata ... In May, a squirrel in El Paso County, Colorado tested positive for plague. Two people in the state became infected with plague last year after having close contact with sick animals but survived, according to the Denver Post. Across the U.S., there were five cases of plague in the United States in 2020, with one death. ...
The plague has always fascinated me. It's just so grim and bleak.
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/pneumonic-plague-wyoming-case-cats.htmlWyoming woman catches rare pneumonic plague from cats
A woman in Wyoming has been diagnosed with pneumonic plague ...
On Sept. 15, health officials announced that they had detected a "rare but serious" case of plague in a person living in northern Fremont County, Wyoming, which is south of Yellowstone National Park, according to a statement from the Wyoming Department of Health. The person appears to have contracted the disease through "contact with sick pet cats," the statement said. ...
The woman's case marks the seventh human case of plague in Wyoming since 1978 and the first reported case in the state since 2008, the statement said.
The woman's case is particularly unusual because she was infected with pneumonic plague, the rarest and most serious form of the disease. It's also the only form of the disease that can spread from person to person, the CDC says. ...
Cats are "highly susceptible" to plague and are a known source of infections in people, according to the CDC. Cats with pneumonic plague "can pose a significant plague risk to owners, veterinarians and others who handle or come into close contact with these animals due to possible aerosolization of bacteria," the agency said on its website. ...
I don't think there is a huge amount of evidence of the feelings of very ordinary people but little pieces of writing like that, and scratched into church walls like this: https://www.stmarysashwell.org.uk/church/graffiti/decode.htm really tear at my heart.
Here is a link with some photos.
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/we-may-have-underestimated-the-first-known-outbreak-of-bubonic-plagueWe May Have Underestimated The First Known Outbreak of Bubonic Plague
The Justinianic Plague spread through west Eurasia between the 6th and 8th centuries CE, signifying the first known outbreak of bubonic plague in this part of the world.
According to a new analysis of ancient texts and genetic data, its impact was much more severe than some recent studies have suggested.
Certain scholars think this 'first pandemic' may have killed up to half the population of the Mediterranean region at the time, helping to bring down the Roman Empire.
Meanwhile, other historians argue the consequences were far less significant, and suggest the outbreak might not have had any more impact than the flu does in modern society today.
Which brings us to this latest study. Historian Peter Sarris from the University of Cambridge says historians and archeologists need to work together with geneticists and environmental scientists to fully understand the scope and scale of ancient disease outbreaks – including, in this particular example, the arrival of the bubonic plague. ...
Sarris points to a number of clues that show the devastating impact of the Justinianic Plague, including a flurry of crisis measure legislation passed between the years 542 and 545 CE as the population dropped, followed by a reduction in law making as the pandemic fully took hold. ...
Sarris also highlights the growing amount of DNA evidence showing just how far the bubonic plague spread during this time – all the way to Edix Hill in England, according to a 2018 genetic analysis of a burial site, in one case mentioned in the research.
DNA analysis like this is a much more reliable method of working out where the plague spread to, Sarris says, compared with leafing through ancient texts. It can also shed new light on the routes that the disease took around Europe as it spread.
In this particular case, the disease may have spread to England through the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, arriving there before it hit the Mediterranean – and giving historians a fresh understanding of how this 'first pandemic' evolved. ...
FULL STORY: https://scitechdaily.com/black-deat...onic-plague-had-no-impact-on-parts-of-europe/Black Death Mortality Not As Widespread as Long Thought – Bubonic Plague Had No Impact on Parts of Europe
Pollen data from 19 modern European countries reveals that although the Black Death had a devastating impact in some regions, parts of Europe experienced negligible or no impact at all. ...
Although ancient DNA research has identified Yersinia pestis as the Black Death’s causative agent and even traced its evolution across millennia, data on the plague’s demographic impacts is still underexplored and little understood.
Now, a new study in Nature Ecology and Evolution demonstrates that the Black Death’s mortality in Europe was not as universal or as widespread as long thought. An international team of researchers, led by the Palaeo-Science and History group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, analyzed pollen samples from 261 sites in 19 modern-day European countries to determine how landscapes and agricultural activity changed between 1250 and 1450 CE — roughly 100 years before to 100 years after the pandemic. Their analysis supports the devastation experienced by some European regions, but also shows that the Black Death did not impact all regions equally. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/ancien...-where-the-black-death-most-likely-originatedThe Most Likely Origin of The Black Death Was Finally Revealed in an Unexpected Place
... The Black Death was the first wave of a 500-year-long pandemic that would go down in history as one of the deadliest of all time. ...
Despite its immense impact, the origins of the disease have long thwarted researchers, who have since traced long-buried ancient genomes of Y. pestis across the continent.
This new study, which suggests the Black Death emerged in Central Eurasia, is actually just the latest in a slew of archeological and paleoecological findings that are steadily rewriting our understanding of the plague. ...
In previous work, which compared ancient genomes from the remains of people who had died of the plague in England, France, Germany and elsewhere, Spyrou and Krause had managed to trace the roots of the second plague pandemic back to a riverside town in Russia.
Other teams have also claimed they uncovered the oldest known plague victim, who died in what is now Latvia from a less transmissible, ancestral strain of Y. pestis thousands of years before the Black Death ripped around the world in the mid-14th century.
But the origins of the second plague pandemic, a grim saga beginning with the Black Death and spanning five centuries, have long been debated and efforts to pinpoint it have thus far been hampered by a prevailing Eurocentric focus, the team says.
Now, their new research pushes the likely origins of the Black Death even farther east into Central Asia, with DNA evidence from the remains of seven individuals exhumed from two cemeteries in modern-day Kyrgyzstan. ...
The cemeteries, located in the Chüy Valley near Lake Issyk-Kul, had actually been excavated between 1885 and 1892, and contained a cluster of burials marked by tombstones inscribed with vague details of an unknown pestilence. ...
To investigate, the team extracted DNA from the teeth of the recovered skeletons, sequenced the genetic material and compared it to modern and historical genomes of Y. pestis. ...
In the teeth of three out of the seven skeletons, they found traces of ancient DNA of the plague bacterium, Y. pestis, and matched these skeletons to their headstones using historic diaries of the original excavations. ...
Two of the reconstructed ancient genomes represented a single strain, dated to the first half of the 14th century. Genomic comparisons suggested this ancestral strain gave rise to a massive expansion of diverse plague strains that branched out and spawned the pandemic. ...
No, you catch it from being bitten by a flea that carries it. 2 of the 3 versions of yersinia pestis exist in the southwest U.S. and there are about 10 to 20 cases a year, usually from the reservation or kids playing in the dump. Bubonic is more common, but Pnuemonic happens sometimes to.I heard about this, and what I didn't understand was whether the pathogen was still viable after all that time. In other words, can you catch plague off a 5000-year-old body?
It's how the word was used historically. When it was happening in Europe it had other names like "great pestilence," and "plague" was used in general for extensive disease, frogs, locusts etc. The great pestilence was so significant that it began being called ",the plague" .It is onlly a plague if most everyone gets it, I don't understand why it is still referred to as "the plague".
Great News!What saved people from Black Death could cause problems now.
On a drizzly April morning in 2006, a geneticist had the sobering task of helping sort 50 boxes of bones in the Museum of London’s basement into two stacks.
One contained the remains of people who died 700 years ago during the Black Death. In the other were bones from survivors of the plague who had been buried a year or more later in the same medieval cemetery near the Tower of London.
As Jennifer Klunk, then a graduate student at McMaster University, examined the remains, she wondered what made the two groups different. “Why did some people die during the Black Death and others didn’t?” Klunk, now at Daicel Arbor Biosciences, remembers thinking.
Other scholars have been pondering that mystery for centuries. But now, by analyzing DNA from those old bones and others from London and Denmark, Klunk and her colleagues have found an answer: The survivors were much more likely to carry gene variants that boosted their immune response to Yersinia pestis, the flea-borne bacterium that causes the plague. One variant alone appears to have increased the chance of surviving the plague by 40%, they reported today in Nature. “We were blown away. … It’s not a small effect,” says Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist at McMaster and co–lead author of the study (and Klunk’s Ph.D. adviser).
The findings also indicate the Black Death caused a dramatic jump in the proportion of people carrying the protective variant; it is the strongest surge of natural selection on the human genome documented so far. But the improved immunity came at a cost: Today, the variant is also associated with higher risk of autoimmune diseases. ...
To be fair though, most of our ancestors must have survived the plague, otherwise we wouldn't be here. And we don't all have auto immune disease, so how does that work?Great News!
My ancestors survived the plague in order to condemn me to a lifetime of the “joys” of Crohn’s disease. I’ll ponder this when attached to the Kharzi throughout today.
BUBONIC PLAGUE AND AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERSScientists discovered that the very genes that helped medieval people survive the plague contribute to a host of other conditions today. These ailments include lupus, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. All of these diseases share something in common: they are autoimmune conditions caused by the immune system attacking itself.
Hendrik Poinar, an anthropology professor at McMaster, puts it this way: “A hyperactive immune system may have been great in the past but in the environment today it might not be as helpful.” That’s an understatement.
I know my Crohn’s was passed to me and my sister from my mother. DNA shows mum had the same probability of having the disease as me but she never had the actual disease. My brother never had the disease yet one of his grandchildren has been struck down with it, so big bruv was likely a carrier. So whilst not everyone has an autoimmune disorder, many could carry the gene.To be fair though, most of our ancestors must have survived the plague, otherwise we wouldn't be here. And we don't all have auto immune disease, so how does that work?
That's true, I didn't think about carriers as opposed to sufferers. An entire family could be carrying an auto immune gene without any members actually having the condition.I know my Crohn’s was passed to me and my sister from my mother. DNA shows mum had the same probability of having the disease as me but she never had the actual disease. My brother never had the disease yet one of his grandchildren has been struck down with it, so big bruv was likely a carrier. So whilst not everyone has an autoimmune disorder, many could carry the gene.
The link takes you to a site where the autoimmune (or suspected autoimmune conditions) are listed. I would hazard a guess that most family bloodlines will have something out of the list, even if it is one of the most common such as arthritis.
The autoimmune arthritis mentioned is rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis made by the ends of the bones just wearing away is a mechanical process. I suspect that archaeologists see osteoarthritis, because rheumatoid may not leave any effect on the bones - or will at least look very diffeent.That's true, I didn't think about carriers as opposed to sufferers. An entire family could be carrying an auto immune gene without any members actually having the condition.
Although I think arthritis was fairly common even before the great plague. I know some Bronze Age skeletons show signs of it.